Friday, May 12, 2006

TARZAN...Visual Must See

Just some of what critics had to say about the visual spectacular TARZAN.

The visual and aural splendors of the production kick in immediately, with a series of dazzling stage images that have a significant "wow" effect. The effects begin with a shipwreck, followed by an underwater sequence in which the onstage figures are seen swimming furiously. Then the action shifts to a beach, which we seem to be viewing through an overhead camera shot.Such lavishly designed images permeate the production, which, along with its surround-sound din, is certainly the most cinematic show ever seen on Broadway. Thankfully, Crowley provides an intense theatricality, much of it seemingly inspired by Cirque du Soleil, to go along with the special effects. Indeed, some of the best moments come from such relatively primitive styles as shadow puppetry.

Crowley's ape costumes accentuate fuzzy, almost feathery bodies and heads, but the faces remain human. They give the performers room to bound and leap across the jungle setting. That movement is the work of several people, most notably Pichon Baldinu, who did the aerial design and Meryl Tankard, in charge of the athletic choreography. It's exhausting.
Crowley, best known for his Tony-winning sets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Carousel and Disney's Aida, gives his all in the design department. And his work is quite eye-popping.

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