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“Tarzan” Swings Into Action at The Muny

Harry Hamm
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harry star 4stars Tarzan Swings Into Action at The Muny

In many respects, The Muny is about showmanship. Tarzan sliding gracefully over the audience as he makes his big entrance is definitely showmanship.

tarzan 4

Photo courtesy of The Muny

The current attraction, “Tarzan,” comes with the pedigree of being a Disney super-show, which means a lot is expected. The Muny won’t disappoint the Mouse. Nicholas Rodriguez, who played Tarzan on Broadway, does the role now at The Muny and he is just right. (The new Eric Kunze?)

Tarzan and Jane

Photo courtesy of The Muny

His leading lady, Jane, is played by Kate Rockwell. Both Rockwell and Rodriguez are making their Muny debuts. Rockwell has that kind of leading lady vocal presence and capacity that make her tailor-made for The Muny’s spacious stage.

Tarzan_Phillip_Hamer_(2)

Photo courtesy of The Muny

It is slightly over 100 years since Edgar Rice Burroughs first published “Tarzan of the Apes,” and the well-loved adventure tale’s elements of family, assimilation, differences, danger and love are enduring. The first act of “Tarzan” the musical is slighter than the second, when Ken Page in the role of Porter anchors the show and gives it a soul. The production’s music is best remembered for the Phil Collins hit, “You’ll Be In My Heart,” but some of this show’s lesser known numbers have surprising essence.

Tarzan_Eric_Woosley_(2)

Photo courtesy of The Muny

Quentin Earl Darrington as Kerchak, Gregory Haney as Terk, Spencer Jones as Young Tarzan and Nathaniel Mahone as Young Terk really cement this show in an audiences’ sentiments.

Tarzan pre show

Photo courtesy of The Muny

There’s pre-show entertainment courtesy of UMSL’s St. Louis Percussion Ensemble.

tarzan orchestra

Photo courtesy of The Muny

And speaking of percussion, The Muny’s 16 piece orchestra mirrors the size and nature of the original Broadway production.

tarzan finale

Photo Courtesy of The Muny

“Tarzan” performed outdoors  is an adventurous show for an equally adventurous theater. It is diverting enough to keep little minds engaged. Especially in Act II, it is a thoughtful piece of entertainment for adults. In the movie, “Full Metal Jacket,” R. Lee Ermey as a Marine Corp DI tells a recruit in boot camp, “You’ve got guts, and guts is enough.” “Tarzan” proves that The Muny has guts.

http://www.muny.org/2014-season/tarzan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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