Today’s featured event:
See Lyric Theatre’s staging of the Oklahoma premiere of the musical “Tarzan,” based on the story by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Disney’s 1999 animated film, at 7:30 p.m. today, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker. Information: 524-9312 or www.lyrictheatreokc.com.
Lyric is opening their 50th anniversary season with the show, reports The Oklahoman Fine Arts Editor Rick Rogers.
The character of Tarzan has long been ingrained in the public’s consciousness, through film (played most notably by Johnny Weissmuller), television (Ron Ely) and Disney’s animated film (voiced by Tony Goldwyn).
“Anytime you’re dealing with a character like Tarzan that has some historical context, I think it’s important to honor the past and the great guys who have played the character before,” Nicholas Rodriguez, who is playing Tarzan, told Rick. “You use what’s available to you and add your own take to the character.”
Directed by Michael Baron with choreography by Ashley Wells, this production marks the Oklahoma premiere of the Disney musical. Heading the cast are Rodriguez as Tarzan, Felicia Boswell as Kala, Steve Blanchard as Kerchak, Heather Botts as Jane and Jamard Richardson as Terk.
As in Burroughs’ novel, Tarzan is raised by Kala, a gorilla who adopts the young boy after his parents are killed.
Given that the story of “Tarzan” unfolds in the jungle, the title character and his simian friends are naturally expected to take flight. Daniel Stover, director of AntiGravity Orlando, is supervising the flying sequences in Lyric’s production of “Tarzan,” Rick reports.
Adding such sequences to a stage production places yet another demand on performers who are already asked to act and sing. For Rodriguez, it also means appearing on stage wearing just a loincloth, Rick reports.
“Jeffrey (Meek, Lyric’s costume designer) told me that loincloths weren’t something he made on a daily basis,” Rodriguez told Rick laughing. “It’s basically just a few strips of leather and it’s awfully short. It’s funny that a couple of inches here or there can require so much attention.”
To read more of Rick’s preview of the production, click here.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.