The Tuacahn Amphitheatre will be transformed into an African jungle when the Broadway musical adaptation of the Disney film Tarzan begins performances Monday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m. Based upon the classic story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this live stage production boasts music by seven-time Grammy Award winner Phil Collins, including the Academy Award winning song "You'll Be in My Heart." Tarzan will be performed each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night June 7-October 15 in the outdoor Tuacahn Amphitheatre.
Leading the cast of 38 in the title role is James Royce Edwards. Edwards has starred on Broadway and on the national tours of Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Pippin, and All Shook Up. Off-Broadway, James has starred in Altar Boyz, Matthew Passion, and Wanda's World.
At his side in the role of Jane will be Summer Broyhill, a veteran of Hairspray on Broadway as well as the national tours of Hairspray and I Love a Piano. About the opportunity to perform in Tarzan at Tuacahn, she says, "Even when you perform professionally, you still relish the moments when your jaw drops and you succumb completely to believing in a magical world with its own set of rules. I think this production really has the potential to be that kind of magical."
Broadway veteran Evan D'Angeles (Miss Saigon, Pacific Overtures) plays the role of Tarzan's sidekick, Terk. Additional cast members include Cessalee Stovall (Kala), Sam Zeller (Kerchak), Jerry Hoffman (Porter), and Todd Dubail (Clayton). DuBail has been seen across the country in the national tours of Joseph... (Pharaoh, with Patrick Cassidy and Jon Secada), Grease (Danny, with Frankie Avalon, Chubbie Checker and Fabian), Leader of the Pack, and Jesus Christ Superstar (with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson).
Rounding out the cast are Talon Ackerman, Kile Allen, Eli Bauer, Giovanni Bonaventura, Erica Bryce, JeRemy Carpenter, Olin Davidson, Molly DePola, Craig Donnelly, Carolyn Hartvigsen, Zachary Hess, Tammie Rose Johnston, Payton Kemp, Tommy Martinez, Troy McGee, Nicholas McGough, Ryan Nickels, Kyli Rae, Robert Reep, Eddy Schumacher, Kierstyn Sharrow, Alexis Smith, Shellie Telford, Joey Tierno, Veronica Yeager, and Lindsey Young.
Tarzan's pop-rock music, exotic costumes, and conflicted love story will come together under the capable direction of Tuacahn's Artistic Director, Scott S. Anderson. Anderson also directed the Tuacahn premiere of Les Misérables in 2008 and has assembled an eclectic cast and crew to bring the show to life in its first production in the United States outside of New York.
"The greatest challenge in producing Tarzan is the flying," says Anderson. "But some of the additions to our facility from our production of Peter Pan in 2006 helped accommodate the show's technical needs. This, combined with the engineering talents of Flying By Foy, aerial choreography by Cees de Kok and Cathy Perquin, and stage choreography by Mic Thomson, has allowed us to overcome this difficulty in a thrilling way."
Tuacahn's producers have been working for two years to make this production a reality. "Having seen Tarzan on Broadway, I knew Tuacahn would be a great place for the show to make its regional premiere," Anderson continues. "Originally the rights to present a local production of Tarzan were granted to another group of producers. Nevertheless, we continued to hope for our chance to bring it to life at Tuacahn. When Disney finally gave us the green light, we eagerly jumped at the chance!"
Tickets, priced from $22-$56, are available at the Tuacahn box office, by calling (435) 652-3300/(800) 746-9882 or online at tuacahn.org.
Tuacahn's production of Tarzan is licensed through a special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions and Music Theater International in New York.