Tarzan musical welcomes you to the jungle

There are less than 10 days to the premiere of Tarzan The Musical and the Merimbula-based Dreamcoat Theatre Productions is in full production mode.

Sets, scenery, costumes, wigs and props and all the technical paraphernalia are nearing completion, while the actors are moving past the learning of lines and songs and can now focus on becoming the characters and delivering the show they have dreamed of for the past year.

Dreamcoat Theatre Productions are excited to welcome the community to the jungle, as it brings Tarzan the Stage Musical to life at Twyford Hall, Merimbula from Friday, November 30 to December 15.

Community theatre: Dreamcoat Productions' Tarzan ensemble getting ready for the big premiere at Twyford Hall on Friday, November 30.

Community theatre: Dreamcoat Productions' Tarzan ensemble getting ready for the big premiere at Twyford Hall on Friday, November 30.

Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock legend, Phil Collins and a book by Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang. High-flying excitement and hits, like the Academy Award winning, You'll Be in My Heart, as well as Son of Man and Two Worlds, make Tarzan an unforgettable theatrical experience.

An Orchestra, led by Lumen Christi music teacher Joe Fragnito, is keenly focussed on the opening night when the African drums will roll for the first time in the heart of Merimbula.

Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan.

Apart from striving for acceptance from his ape father, Tarzan's life is mostly monkey business until a human expedition treks into his tribe's territory and he encounters creatures like himself for the first time.

Tarzan struggles to navigate a jungle. Thick with emotion, he discovers his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts.

Sitzprobe with orchestra and cast.

Sitzprobe with orchestra and cast.

Tarzan is a powerhouse of a musical that has challenged local director, scenery and costume designer Victoria Cordova and the producer and assistant director Hayley Fragnito, with endless opportunities for creative staging, costuming and set design.

“This is a critical time in musical theatre production –  with most of the cast playing gorillas, a boy man swinging on vines, a Victorian lady teaching Victorian values and dances and some baddies thrown in to boot,” Ms Cordova said. 

Ms Cordova said there are plenty of “ideas and suggestions” for changes as the acts develop and the ensemble becomes confident and excited.

“But now is the time to lock it down and focus on performance,” she said.

“It is all good fun but exhausting in community theatre, where enthusiasm is a key element of the production and a fun experience is an important outcome!”

Tarzan is a show about community and family, so it’s fitting that there are families within the cast.

Tarzan scenery and costume designer Victoria Cordova painting African scenery drops.

Tarzan scenery and costume designer Victoria Cordova painting African scenery drops.

The Fitzemaurice family includes four members with parts and boasts Tarzan, apes, leopards and African spirits.

“It must be extraordinary around their house as John, Kristy, Juliette and Zosha all battle vocally for performance rights,” Ms Cordova laughed.

There are several other families with multiple members in the cast.

It is not surprising that young Terk played by Luca Yi grows up into Terk, played by his father Myoung Yi who has commented that his home feels very “African” with African spirits played by his daughter Anise.

“Having multiple generations within the production house bodes well for the future of musical theatre in Merimbula, The Fragnito family has three generations involved,” Ms Cordova said.

Jane and Tarzan

Jane and Tarzan

Ms Cordova said families have commented how much they enjoy driving home after rehearsals and hearing how their children bubble over with excitement as they recap the night’s events or recap comments from the director or voice coaches.

“Some have said there is a car full of critics about their own performances, but it does just bring a smile to your face,” she said.

Tickets are selling fast, performances commence on Friday, November 30 at 7pm and closes on December 15.

Cabarets, concerts and matinee’s start at 2pm to cater for all the family.

For further information and to book phone 02 6494 9958 or visit dreamcoatmerimbula.wordpress.com 

This story Tarzan musical welcomes you to the jungle first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.