Revamped Tarzan Will Debut in January 2009 in Atlanta

News   Revamped Tarzan Will Debut in January 2009 in Atlanta
A new stage production of the Disney musical Tarzan — based on the animated film of the same name — will debut in January 2009 at Atlanta's Theater of the Stars before playing several other theatres.
Phil Collins
Phil Collins Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The new production, which will feature the Phil Collins Broadway score and the David Henry Hwang book, will boast direction and choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, scenic design by Kenneth Foy, aerial design by Paul Rubin and lighting design by Ken Billington. Additional members of the creative team will be announced shortly.

Following the Atlanta run, Tarzan will then play the other co-producing theatres: American Musical Theatre of San Jose, CA, at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (February); North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh, NC, at the Progress Energy Center (March); and Dallas Summer Musicals in Dallas, TX, at the Music Hall at Fair Park (April).

In a statement Theater of the Stars' Chris Manos (producer) and Nick Manos (president) said, "We are delighted with the collaboration between Theater of the Stars and our three co-producing partners on the stage production of Tarzan. One of the best known stories of all time will once again spring to life on stage with unforgettable music by the legendary Phil Collins. We are excited to introduce this exceptional show to our theatre-loving communities across the country."

Tarzan opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre May 10, 2006, and played its final performance July 8, 2007, after 35 previews and 486 regular performances. The cast featured 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, who also designed the show.

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 included 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, "tells the classic tale of a shipwreck that leaves an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa. The helpless baby is adopted and raised by the mate of the leader of a tribe of gorillas who is grieving the loss of her baby. As he grows and matures, the boy yearns for acceptance from his ape father and to discover the reason for his uniqueness. Eventually he encounters his first human — Jane Porter, a curious young explorer — and all of their worlds are transformed."

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