I am no expert and have seen no more than several dozen musical stage productions, amateur and professional, though that includes productions from Memphis and St. Louis to Broadway in New York City. However, I believe no more than one or two professionally produced ones have been as good as Tarzan.
Certainly NO other non-professional one has come at all close to this quality. Acting, singing, music, set, special effects, timing — all those things were done astonishingly well. When one considers that these players and crew came from four different school in four far-flung campuses in Union County, it becomes apparent that this theater program was well conceived and benefits from the dedication of many people.
The athleticism of a few dozen of the cast members in this physically demanding show is in itself remarkable.
The two-act musical is based on the 1924 novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burrough. The music and lyrics for Tarzan were written by Phil Collins, the Englishman who has won seven Grammy Awards and two Golden Glove Awards and who was both the lead singer and the drummer for 34 years, 1976 – 2010, for the rock band Genesis
The theater program is one of several extra-curricular activities available for Union County School System students who attend class and maintain the required grades. The activities are part of Superintendent Ken Basil’s vision for engaging students in the classroom by providing a variety of extra-curricular activities. The theater program not only involves students in acting, but in directing, stage management, set building, ticket sales, publicity, etc.
The production was directed by Clint Reid, who teaches history and theater at East Union Attendance Center. “Tarzan” is the ninth production he has directed for Union County students, and his “it’s all about the students” philosophy has served his students well.
The final performance of “Tarzan” will be Sunday, October 4th, at 2PM at New Albany’s Magnolia Civic Center.