Disney's Tarzan Musical Aiming for 2005-2006 Broadway Bow

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12 May 2005

Disney's latest entry into the Broadway scene will most likely be Tarzan, based on the 1999 animated film of the same name.



A casting notice says that the production will open on Broadway some time during the 2005-2006 season. Tarzan will join such other Broadway Disney fare as the long-running Beauty and the Beast and the Tony-winning The Lion King.

Tarzan will feature direction and designs by Bob Crowley, choreography by Meryl Tankard and associate direction by Jeff Lee. Phil Collins, who penned the score for the motion picture, has written several additional songs for the stage version, which will boast a book by David Henry Hwang. The casting notice says the Broadway musical is adapted from the Tab Murphy-Bob Tzudiker-Noni White screenplay and the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novel "Tarzan of the Apes."

The casting sessions, which will be held May 24, 25 and 28 at Chelsea studios, are seeking actors to play Tarzan, Jane, Kala, Kerchak, Clayton, Terk, Porter and a child Tarzan. The role of the adult Tarzan is described as follows: "Caught between the world of gorillas and the world of humans, he is a human raised by a family of apes in the African jungle. We must identify with him and care about him and his emotional journey. Charming, sexy, vulnerable, lots of humanity, animal-like. Physically lean but toned, a swimmer’s body — NOT a muscle man. Strong upper body strength, physical, agile, fearless, must be very comfortable with movement. His body must be at one with the environment. Will fly. Needs a terrific pop/rock singing voice."

A Jan. 30, 2004, workshop of the musical featured Daniel Manche as the Child Tarzan and The Light in the Piazza's Matthew Morrison as the Adult Tarzan. Former Rent-er Adam Pascal sang the role of the Tarzan Storyteller. The remainder of the workshop cast included Everett Bradley (ensemble), Laura Bell Bundy (Jane), Will Chase (Clayton), Dwayne Clark (ensemble), Aisha de Haas (ensemble), Chris Fitzgerald (Adult Terk), Kristen Lee Kelly (ensemble), Joshua Kobak (ensemble), Anika Larsen (ensemble), Cass Morgan (Kala), Doug Storm (ensemble), Travis Walters (Child Terk), Alton White (Kerchak) and Paxton Whitehead (Porter).

The 1999 animated Disney film of "Tarzan" featured songs by Phil Collins. Collins, in fact, won an Oscar for the tune "You'll Be In My Heart." The film featured the voices of Tony Goldwyn (Tarzan), Minnie Driver (Jane Porter), Glenn Close (Kala), Brian Blessed (Clayton), Nigel Hawthorne (Porter), Lance Henriksen (Kerchak), Wayne Knight (Tanor), Alex D. Linz (Young Tarzan) and Rosie O'Donnell (Terk).