Tarzan Swings Out of the Richard Rodgers Theatre July 8
By Andrew Gans
The Disney musical Tarzan — based on the animated film of the same name — plays its final performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre July 8 at 6:30 PM. When it closes, the musical will have played 35 previews and 486 regular performances.
Tarzan opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre May 10, 2006. The cast features Josh Strickland in the title role with All Shook Up's Jenn Gambatese as Jane. The musical marked the Broadway directorial debut for Bob Crowley.
The company also currently features Merle Dandridge as Kala, Robert Evan as Kerchak, Chester Gregory II as Terk, Timothy Jerome as Professor Porter and Donnie Keshawarz as Clayton. Alex Rutherford and Dylan Riley Snyder alternate in the role of Young Tarzan.
In a recent statement Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher said, "I am disappointed that the Broadway production of Tarzan will close earlier than any of us had hoped, and I would have loved for it to have been as successful in New York as it is now in Holland. Despite this, Tarzan was the Broadway debut for two artists I have long admired and respected, and for this I am extremely proud. The opportunity to work again with the legendary Phil Collins, who expanded his film score for the stage production, and with Bob Crowley in his Broadway directorial debut has been hugely gratifying. I know that as we continue to produce Tarzan around the world, audiences will embrace it with as much enthusiasm as we put into creating it."
Tarzan features a score by Phil Collins, including five songs from the 1999 animated film of the same name — "Two Worlds," "Son of Man," "Trashin' the Camp," "Strangers Like Me" and "You'll Be in My Heart" — as well as nine songs composed for the Broadway production: "Who Better Than Me," "For the First Time," "Everything That I Am," "Waiting for This Moment," "No Other Way," "I Need to Know," "Sure as Sun Turns to Moon," "Different" and "Like No Man I've Ever Seen."
Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang wrote the musical's book based on both the Disney film and the original Edgar Rice Burroughs story "Tarzan of the Apes." The creative team also includes Meryl Tankard (choreography), Pichón Baldinu (aerial design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), John Shivers (sound design), Paul Bogaev (music producer/vocal arrangements) and Doug Besterman (orchestrations).
Tarzan, according to press notes, begins as "a shipwreck leaves an infant orphaned on the West African shore. The helpless baby is taken under the protection of a gorilla tribe and becomes part of their family. When he eventually encounters his first human — Jane Porter, a curious young explorer — both their worlds are transformed forever."
The first European production of Tarzan officially opened in Holland at the Circustheatre near Amsterdam April 15. Heading the cast of the Dutch-language production is 27-year-old Ron Link from Nijmegen in the title role with 27-year-old Chantal Janzen from Tegelen as Jane.
The original Broadway cast recording of Tarzan is available on the Walt Disney Records label.
Tickets for Tarzan are available at www.DisneyOnBroadway.com, the Richard Rodgers Theatre box office, and all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (212) 307-4747.
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