Based upon the Tarzan stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs and on the 1999 Disney animated film of the same name, Tarzan The Musical that opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway on May 10, 2006. Edgar Rice Burroughs introduced Tarzan to the world almost 90 years ago in the October 1912 issue of All Story Magazine. The orphan became an instant sensation and has been featured in 26 authorized novels and more than 44 motion pictures.
Disney Theatrical Productions is responsible for bringing this classic story Tarzan The Musical of a boy raised in the wild by animals to the Broadway stage. The director and designer of the show is two-time Tony winner Bob Crowley and Tony winner David Henry Hwang has adapted the story for the stage. With music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award winner Phil Collins and the book by David Henry Hwang, Tarzan promises to be a high-flying hit! The story Tarzan The Musical deals with an orphan helpless baby left on the West African shore because of a shipwreck. A gorilla tribe takes him in its protection and raises him as one of its own. When older, he meets Jane Porter, a curious young explorer and another story starts as both their worlds come together.
Phil Collins worked extensively on his original songs that appeared in the movie Tarzan The Musical and expanded them to create a complete theater score. The songs include the Oscar and Grammy Award winning 'You'll Be in My Heart' and 'Two Worlds'. He also wrote nine new numbers in addition to the five from the movie. Natasha Katz was nominated for the 2006 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for her work on Tarzan The Musical. The musical also showcases Broadway debuts of acclaimed Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard and aerial designer Pichon Baldinu, creator of De La Guarda. The Richard Rodgers Theater was converted into a jungle and the aerial choreography made the presentation visually enthralling.
To help bring the Tarzan to life Disney wanted a sexy man of mystery with a rock singer's voice and a swimmer's physique. They were looking for someone charming, sexy, vulnerable, animal-like and mysterious and toned, like a swimmer. They found their jungle man in Josh Strickland. He is as perfect as our untamed hero as he swings through the jungle fearlessly, tackling aerial work. The rest of the Broadway Cast of Tarzan The Musical comprises of 34 actors including Jenn Gambatese as Jane, Shuler Hensley as Kerchak, Merle Dandridge as Kala, Chester Gregory II as Terk, Timothy Jerome as Professor Porter, Donnie R. Keshawarz as Clayton and Alex Rutherford and Daniel Manche as Young Tarzan.
On April 15 2007, Tarzan The Musical saw its first international debut in Europe in The Netherlands. The musical opened in the Circustheatre in Scheveningen near The Hague featuring Ron Link as Tarzan and Chantal Janzen as Jane. Tarzan The Musical is a multi million-dollar musical, one of the most expensive ventures of Disney. It would be a jaw-dropping experience to see the jungle story unfold on the stage complete with swaying plants and the greenery of the forest.
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