PHOTO CALL: André de Shields, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Usman Ally, Akash Chopra and More in World Premiere Musical The Jungle Book
By Krissie Fullerton
01 Jul 2013
The world premiere of The Jungle Book officially opened at Chicago's Goodman Theatre July 1 following previews that began June 21. Originally scheduled to play through Aug. 4, performances were recently extended to Aug. 11. The production will then transfer to Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, running Sept. 7-Oct. 6.
The cast is led by ten-year-old Akash Chopra as Mowgli, the young, spunky and stubborn boy (Roni Akurati plays the role at select performances); Usman Ally as Bagheera, Elena Flores as Raksha, Kevin Carolan as Baloo the bear, Glory Curda as the Little Girl, Thomas Derrah as Kaa, André De Shields as King Louie, Nehal Joshi as Rama, and Larry Yando as Shere Khan, the tiger, the crafty, powerful and dangerous arch-villain.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.