Review: Tarzan Swings into Action at The Lyric

One of the best shows this season in the Atlanta area stars none other than and ape man in Tarzan the Stage Musical. Adapted from the story Tarzan the Ape Man by Edgar Rice Burroughs and based on the 1997 Disney Film, this show has all the music and lyrics we know and love by Phil Collins plus an offering of 9 new songs. The book by David Henry Hwang follows the movie closely and adds more depth and breadth to the characters as we see deeper into the relationship of Kerchak and Kala, as well as the friendship of Tarzan and Terk, and tender father/daughter moments of Jane and Porter.

Director Robert Adams assembled an incredibly talented cast and choreographer Cindy Mora Reiser pulled out all the stops. Not only did this ensemble dance with sheer perfection, but the abundance of tumbling paired with climbing all over the jungle “monkey bars” and breathtaking wire work delighted audience members as much as the story and the songs.

Scenic designer Daniel Pattillo and crew created a set that is an intricate feast for the eyes and perfectly captures the feel of an African Jungle. It includes many levels for cast members to scale, climb, and jump onto. LIghting designer Mary Parker once again captures just the right combination of colors and textures to help set the stage and tone of the story as well as accent the beautiful costumes worn by the apes.

Key-noteworthy performances go to both Vinny Montague as Young Tarzan and Stanley Allyn Owen as Tarzan. Not only is Owen a fabulous actor, singer, and dancer, one lady in the lobby mentioned he was also “a hottie”. Leslie Bellair as Kala has a beautiful voice and captures the passion Kala feels for her adopted son beautifully. Alison Wilhoit depicts a very lovable Jane, and Commodore Primous’s portrayal of Terk showcases a stellar voice and athletic dance skills, as well as impeccable comedic timing. Finally, Marcus Hopkins- Turner’s beautiful baritone voice and imposing stature give a depth and texture to Kerchek that is impossible to capture with 2 dimensions on a big screen.

Tarzan plays at Atlanta Lyric Theatre June 21st-24th. Saturday, June 23rd is family fun day when kids’ tickets for ages 3-12 are 65% off with purchase of adult ticket, limit four children’s tickets per adult ticket purchased. Tickets can be purchased at http://atlantalyrictheatre.com/show/tarzan/

–Jody Key — Managing Editor

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