View Full Version : 'Tarzan' Makes Last B'way Swing July 8

06-23-2007, 09:10 AM

'Tarzan' Makes Last B'way Swing July 8
AP - Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:59:13 -0400 (EDT)
"Tarzan" will take its last swing through the Broadway jungle on July 8. The lavish Disney stage version of its 1999 animated film will close after 486 performances and 35 previews, Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney Theatrical Productions, announced Friday.

"I am disappointed that the Broadway production of `Tarzan' will close earlier than any of us had hoped, and I would have loved for it to have been as successful in New York as it now is in Holland," Schumacher said.

The show, which received mostly negative notices on Broadway, has been a big hit in the Netherlands, opening there in April 2007 to good reviews and a sold-out summer at the Circustheatre in The Hague. Other productions are planned for Germany and possibly Japan, Schumacher said.

Although "Tarzan" will have played for more than a year by the time it ends its run at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, the production will close at a loss. Disney executives won't reveal an exact figure.

Last week the show grossed $516,251, playing to about 75 percent capacity at the Rodgers.

"It (the closing) is completely a business decision -- I have to run this (`Tarzan') like a business," Schumacher said in a telephone interview. "If I look at how we have been selling through the spring, if I look at our advances ... I can tell that I am going to have a summer where I am going to be losing a substantial amount of money. ... And I don't artificially keep shows going.

"But `Tarzan' is not just one production," Schumacher added. "I have multiple productions of `Tarzan' coming and I have a big successful one running. This production is a loss. But the title of `Tarzan' within our catalog and within the Disney franchise will do just fine."

On Broadway, the musical, which features a score by pop star Phil Collins, stars Josh Strickland as the ape man and Jenn Gambatese as his loyal mate Jane. It was written by David Henry Hwang, author of "M. Butterfly" and directed by Bob Crowley, who also designed the show's sets and costumes.

"Tarzan" isn't the only Disney musical closing this summer on Broadway. "Beauty and the Beast" ends its more than decade-long run July 29 after 5,464 performances. It will be replaced at the Lunt-Fontanne by Disney's next Broadway show, "The Little Mermaid," which opens Dec. 6. Preview performances begin Nov. 3.

"Mermaid," directed by Francesca Zambello, will play an out-of-town tryout in Colorado at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which is part of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Preview performances begin July 26 with an opening set for Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, Disney's two other Broadway musicals -- "The Lion King" and "Mary Poppins" -- keep chugging along, pulling in grosses of more than $1 million each week.

06-23-2007, 01:32 PM
This doesn't surprise me. I have several people that "won" tickets to see the show, and when a Broadway production starts giving out free tickets to locals so fills eats and renew interest the show is done-for.

All my friends said the show was really really weak, but that Tarzan was HOT! :rotfl:

06-25-2007, 08:41 PM
That's a shame...the Bway soundtrack is AMAZING! I wish they gave it a little more time, I would have loved to drive up to NYC to see it, but I can't since I have a final on July 11.... :(

06-26-2007, 08:19 AM
Disney's Tarzan to Close

June 23, 2007

The Disney musical Tarzan — based on the animated film of the same name — will play its final performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre July 8 at 6:30 PM. When it closes, the musical will have played 35 previews and 486 regular performances.

In a statement Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher said, "I am disappointed that the Broadway production of Tarzan will close earlier than any of us had hoped, and I would have loved for it to have been as successful in New York as it is now in Holland. Despite this, Tarzan was the Broadway debut for two artists I have long admired and respected, and for this I am extremely proud. The opportunity to work again with the legendary Phil Collins, who expanded his film score for the stage production, and with Bob Crowley in his Broadway directorial debut has been hugely gratifying. I know that as we continue to produce Tarzan around the world, audiences will embrace it with as much enthusiasm as we put into creating it."

Tarzan opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre May 10, 2006. The cast features Josh Strickland in the title role with All Shook Up's Jenn Gambatese as Jane. The musical marked the Broadway directorial debut for Bob Crowley.

The company also features Merle Dandridge as Kala, Robert Evan as Kerchak, Chester Gregory II as Terk, Timothy Jerome as Professor Porter and Donnie Keshawarz as Clayton. Alex Rutherford and Dylan Riley Snyder alternate in the role of Young Tarzan.

Tarzan features a score by Phil Collins. Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang wrote the musical's book based on both the Disney film and the original Edgar Rice Burroughs story "Tarzan of the Apes." The creative team also includes Meryl Tankard (choreography), Pichón Baldinu (aerial design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), John Shivers (sound design), Paul Bogaev (music producer/vocal arrangements) and Doug Besterman (orchestrations).

Tarzan, according to press notes, begins as "a shipwreck leaves an infant orphaned on the West African shore. The helpless baby is taken under the protection of a gorilla tribe and becomes part of their family. When he eventually encounters his first human — Jane Porter, a curious young explorer — both their worlds are transformed forever."

Tickets for Tarzan are available at DisneyOnBroadway.com, the Richard Rodgers Theatre box office, and all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (212) 307-4747.

Patrons with tickets purchased for performances after July 8 should contact the point-of-purchase outlet for information.

06-26-2007, 01:26 PM
This is disappointing! When I heard Beauty and the Beast was closing, I quick made plans to take DD7 - we're going this Sat. and can't wait! But I can't swing (no pun intended) this one on such short notice. Has anyone heard about touring plans for Tarzan?

06-26-2007, 02:18 PM
I was really suprised when I read about this yesterday. I saw the show this past Christmas and I thought it was good. Some of the visual effects were the best I've seen at an on stage performance.

06-28-2007, 10:33 AM
I am a big fan of the Broadway scene and I'm (obviously) a fan of Disney, but for some reason I haven't been pulled in to seeing Tarzan. I don't think it's because of the reviews, but because the advertising for it never captured my full interest. Now that I'm working in NYC this summer, I might give it a try before it closes. Does anyone know if they are doing the Broadway lottery tickets for this show?