Well, I haven’t had the chance to blog about my recent theater escapades so I am going to make it up today by blogging about the most recent show I watched. I have had the fortune of seeing the opening night of Viva Atlantis’ Tarzan the Musical at the Meralco Theater last night and it was just splendid! I have no words to describe the experience because until now, I’m still hooked and I still want to watch it again!
The stage musical was based on the Disney animated film so everyone should be familiar with the plot and the characters. If you are looking for the elements that made you love the animated film, this musical will not disappoint. Let me start with the cast. Of course, Dan Domenech did a wonderful job as Tarzan. Besides having the powerful voice required for a powerful character, he also acquired the characteristics required for the role. He really walks around like an ape and SPEAKS like one too! He even swings on ropes and vines onstage! I think that’s what makes his performance believable and I believe it took a great amount of effort to master that. He was great especially during his scenes with Jane, where he would have to show the audience how he was feeling with just his actions (and occasional ape talk). I can also say the same for the actors who played Tarzan’s gorilla friends. Wonderful portrayal indeed!
Ima Castro, the actress who played Kala (Tarzan’s mother), was also great! Her portrayal was very heartfelt and in the first few minutes, she already made me cry with her rendition of the song You’ll Be In My Heart. She was that good! As for Calvin Millado, I’ve been a fan for so long and the role of Tarzan’s stern father Kerchak fits him so well. When he gets angry at Tarzan, I get scared as well! Ima Castro and Calvin Millado’s combination really works and I especially loved one song of theirs where Kala and Kerchak profess their love for each other. I loved it!
And who would forget this production’s Jane, Rachelle Ann Go? I know that she has already proven herself as a theater actress despite being a newbie, but I wanted to know if she could pull off Jane’s character, British accent and all. I loved her the moment she stepped on the stage and you can immediately see how feisty the character is. Her charm, as well as her beautiful voice, never fails to captivate the audience. This role is more mature than her previous role as The Little Mermaid’s Ariel, but she really nailed this one, and she just keeps on getting better. Rachelle is also good at interacting with the other actors, and her chemistry with Dan is undeniable as well. They look great and sound great together.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. The songs were wonderful as well. Some of them, such as “You’ll Be In My Heart”, “Son of Man”, and “Two Worlds” may be familiar but there are new songs in the musical that fit just as well with the old ones that we already love, such as “For the First Time”, a Tarzan and Jane duet (want a preview? See this video, and yes, that’s Dan and Rachelle singing). Kudos to the musicians for playing wonderful music that night!
It is too bad that there are currently no available photos of the set, but I assure you that the set and lighting design were done very well. As I’ve mentioned before, Tarzan was swinging onstage and this can only be possible with good stage design. It is difficult to make the audience see a jungle onstage but they were able to do it! Well done indeed!
Overall, I can say that the musical is worth it and that everyone should watch it. If you have seen the animated film, this musical will make you love the story even more; and trust me, you will get hooked. The show’s run will end on June 29, 2013.