By: Ellis Keipper
This weekend was the opening weekend for the Heritage production of Tarzan. The show was an instant hit with audiences as Heritage productions usually are. As someone who bears witness to many of the rehearsals and the technical building of the show on a daily basis, I can tell you, there are many reasons you should show out this upcoming weekend.
First of all, the choreography in the show is next level. Since most of the ensemble, at one time or another during the show, plays an animal, the choreography challenges them in the best way possible. It requires the actors to stay consistent with certain behaviors they are not used to, evokes a certain acting that other shows might not require them to tap into. Specifically, the leopards in the show do a very good job. Reaghan Given, Molly Gutekunst, Faith Fandl, and Kelsey Cole very much master the fight choreography and fit their roles as the leopards very well.
Speaking of them, the casting for the show is quintessential to what makes it so great. Derrick Appah and Brianna Grady give a very moving performance as Tarzan’s adoptive parents. Madelyn Travis’s take on young Tarzan is wide-eyed and curious about the new world that he’s found himself in. Max Sutton’s portrayal of Clayton is as menacing and evil as could be. Hannah Waters and Sydney Caudle give very playful and true performances as Terk and Tantor, respectively. And of course, I have to mention Jane and Tarzan. The casting of Zoe Kirsch and David Ortiz, respectively, could not have been more perfect. Zoe is able to match Jane’s wondrous, independent spirit to a tee. She embodies the character in an indescribably brilliant way. David’s portrayal of Tarzan is intrepid and caring as he never fails to embody the perfect protagonist for the audience to attach themselves to.
And it goes without saying that the ensemble cast achieves their own merits. As a part of the ensemble, I can tell you that some of the funniest moments in the show happen in the background from the ensemble. Make sure to look around during the intermission and the ensemble numbers so that you don’t miss some of the most entertaining details of the show. Not to mention, the size of the ensemble is a feat of its own. There are some moments in the show where it may seem that there is an unlimited number of apes at the show’s disposal. Mr. Phoebus and Mr. Jose did a very good job of showing off the size and scale that this show can take itself to.
I can tell you personally, this show is so much fun for people of all ages. Everyone involved put so much heart and effort into everything that went into it. If this article does not convince you to show up for its closing weekend, go ask anyone that’s been to any of the shows so far, and they will tell you exactly what I’ve told you: it is amazing. Its final show dates are Thursday (11/11) at 7pm, Saturday (11/13) at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday (11/14) at 2pm and 7pm. You can purchase tickets here or at the booth when you arrive at the theater.