swung into the Arvada Center last weekend, (get it?!) and where to begin…
Oh so good.
The Arvada Center chose the adaption of the Disney movie Tarzan
for its summer production. If you’ve ever seen the animated film you would be intrigued, I’m sure, to see how it would translate to the stage. (I know I
was.) I mean, it’s such an active story line, so exotic… Tarzan lives with apes and swings through trees, for cripe’s sake! How the heck are they gonna pull this off?!
I guess I’ll start with the first thing you see: the set. Dang. Scenic Designer Brian Mallgrave is one creative dude. He figured out how to bring the jungle of the Congo to the 8-triple-Oh zip code. There were so many sneaky little secrets with the set, so much attention to detail. You could look at that set for an hour and still not see all of the special little touches. Way cool.
Next, I’d like to talk about the ensemble… The fantastic freaking ensemble. They were so fun to watch. Their personification of a family of gorillas was delightful. They were such a phenomenal team, playing off each other and creating a warm and lively world. The show wouldn’t have been nearly as rich without that wonderful ensemble.
The music was fantastic as well. I’ve got two word for you: Phil Collins. Can’t go wrong there. And the entire cast was spot-on with their delivery. Seriously, not one glitch or off-key. They did such justice to those wonderful songs from the Disney film.
As for the lead actors, I’ve got two things I need to let you know about…
1.) Adult Tarzan, Brian Ogilvie, has got serious chops. He wasn’t a guy on a stage playing around at Tarzan. He. Was. Tarzan. This may seem a bit obvious, but I find that acting of his caliber is rare. (And, my God, I need to mention his body. Hello!)
And 2.) IMHO, the glue of the show was Shannan Steele, who plays Tarzan’s gorilla mama Kala. She was so heartfelt and beautiful. I don’t think one person in that theatre could deny the love that she projected. What a gift of a performance.
I could really keep going. The energy. The sly humor. The lighting. The adorable Jane. The flying effects. The Tarzan yells… “Ooooahahahaaooooo”. Trashing the Camp. The sound. It was all masterfully weaved together to create a fun, flawless show.
Honestly, what a treat.
Grab your friends, grab your family, grab a stranger, and head to the Arvada Center for Tarzan
. It plays Tuesdays through Sundays now until August 3rd
. Find all the details you need by clicking here.
Oh, and yes. In case you were wondering… I cried. I cried overwhelming, good tears. Tarzan
made me cry.