Wednesday, May 24, 2006

TARZAN - the musical

Last night, Evan & Jeffrey, Mr. Adam & I went to go see the new Disney musical Tarzan. I was excited about this show because it rumored to be the next "spectacular-spectacular," in the veins of Lion King. Jeffrey arranged for tickets in advance and we had awesome seats. Well, then the reviews came out and they were tepid. Sad, I really was looking forward to it, so I refused to read any reviews of it until after I had seen the show. I had heard a few "word of mouth" reviews, but nothing in the media.
First off, I did enjoy the show. I adored the actors, first and foremost, for being gorillas. Their bodies and stage movement showed the studying and rehearsal time they put in. Their physicality alone is worth watching the show for. But I'm an actor fan to begin with so maybe you might not be as impressed as I am. The set, although sparse, was basically made up of various shades of green shredded fabric and ropes. It moved in and out, up and down. I have to say, I liked watching the set changes even more so than some of the scenes themselves. As for the costumes, well - I have mixed feelings. I thought most of the costumes were quite good, if not great. But, the main character(s) - the gorillas - their costumes were terrible. Now I understand that their costumes needed to be highly functional; I just think Disney's creative team could have come up with something better than this. Now the choreography/gymnastic/high-flying staging was spectacular. I wanted to go hang on the ropes with them. The show looks exhausting for the performers but I couldn't see it on any of their faces. Now the bad part, the music - I can honestly say that my two favorite numbers were instrumental. There is not one song you leave humming. Honestly, utterly forgetful songs. Perhaps Phil Collins should stick to pop ballads? I might mention also, the orchestra (and I've heard quite a few) was phenomenal. Let me repeat that, phenomenal!
Now, Tarzan was played by Josh Strickland (American Idol) and quite well I might add. He's hot,... sexy, damn hot to be exact. And that's a good thing because all he wears is a loincloth for the entire show. Jane was Jenn Gambatese, who I loved in ALL SHOOK UP! She was great and I just love her voice. She shows up at the end of act I and gets the final bow with Tarzan. Lucky her. That should be fixed, the bow is unfair to Merle Dandridge, who plays Tarzan's ape mother and has much more of a role in the play.
Overall, I liked the show. The music was dull, I didn't find I really even needed it to enjoy the show, it (the show) was so visual. I would say, if you have 10 year old children this is a great family evening out. I liked it, I really did.


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