Composer Michael Ogborn, whose Baby Case will premiere in the Arden Theatre Company's 2001-2002 season, contributed music for the 2000 Arden Children's Theatre presentation of The Jungle Book, ending its current run at the F. Otto Haas Stage in Philadelphia, Dec. 31. Performances began Nov. 22 for the show, which is sold out for the rest of its run.
Aaron Posner directs the adaptation by Neil Duffield, who also penned lyrics for the show. The Kipling-inspired musical project was originally commissioned by the Action Transport Theatre Co. in England in 1992, with a resident composer providing music.
The Jungle Book tells the tale of Mowgli, a child left and raised in the jungle, as he grows to adulthood. With the help of his friends, Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the panther, Mowgli learns to face up to his deepest fears and face down Shere Khan, the tiger who has sworn to destroy him. The show is recommended for young people over five.
Ogborn, a Philly native, is a composer-lyricist-librettist who penned Box Office of the Damned, seen in Philadelphia and Manhattan. His Baby Case focuses on the kidnapping of infant son of Charles Lindbergh. Arden produced a workshop of the show in June, will stage a second workshop in spring 2001 and produce the world premiere of the dark fantasia — about the public hype and media circus surrounding the crime — in fall 2001.
For information about the Arden, call (215) 922-1122. -- By Kenneth Jones