Preview reviews are hitting the boards:
>>I saw my first musical in 1957.
Since then, among others, I've seen MOLLY, A DOLL'S LIFE, CARRIE, GRIND, BERNARDA ALBA, PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, METROPOLIS, MOBY DICK, TWO BY TWO, SHOGUN, REX, SQUONK, MERLIN, HAPPY NEW YEAR, CYRANO, SUGAR, HOW NOW DOW JONES, ILLYA DARLING, GOODTIME CHARLIE, SKYSCRAPER, THE RED SHOES, SLOW DRAG, JEAN SEBERG, THE VILLAINS OPERA, and MINNIE'S BOYS.
TARZAN is by far the worst musical I have ever seen. Every department. Don't take my word for it. Go see it. You have time. They have a $20 million dollar advance. Lots of moms and dads out there.
I am so, so sad and disheartened tonight. Truly.<<
>>I thought TARZAN was lame but I'm not sure it was worse than "HOW DO YOU DO,I LOVE YOU", "ONE NIGHT STAND" , "A MOTHERS KISSES" ,"PREPPIES" , "W.C." , "A JOYFUL NOISE or "IN SOMEONE ELSES SANDALS" some of my favorite flops I've seen.<<
>>AFter the opening, there was no flying any more interesting than the opening, but we spent all night watching any nunmber of actors hooking and unhooking themselves from ropes.
The music is repetitive, not very interesting, and does nothing to create character - nor do the lyrics which are pretty inane. I choose my word with care.
It is all very loud though.
Almost every song is staged like a Phil Collins concert would be. The actor stands someplace and sings til its over. In one number in Act 2 all Jane can find to do is twist her hair - over and over.
Inexplicably, after seeing all the monkeys fly, and seeing ma and pa walk down a wall, Jane gets to enter singing on a hammock and fly all the way down from the top of the proscenium. For no reason.
Even though Tarzan is a man, and has a problem flying through the trees, he does it the identical way the monkeys do. Swinging on ropes.
At the end of an endless night, when the point is hammered home (thanks Disney) about FAMILY, don't kill gorillas they have FAMILIES - Jane stays in the jungle with Tarzan (bad choice Jane) because of him and his world. But the final image is not Tarzan, Jane, and family. Its Tarzan and Jane being hoisted up on a rope - alone - yet again.
In a world where we have seen Cirquie de Soleil and the work of Robert LePage, the illusion and stage craft is clunk and unimaginative, as is the direction. Its almost like Disney was offended that Julie Taymor got all the attention for LION KING, and they vowed to go back to a really mediocre director - the guy who gave us the clunk, uninspired BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
I've seen quite a few aerial dance companies over the past 5 years, in addition to Cirque etc., and the monkey flying in this show just seems to be artless and boring.
ANd poor Shuler Hemsley looks even unhappier than he did in Trailer Park.
Tarzan has a great body and lots of other beefcake is on display. Young girls scream.
Jane enters in a dress ribbed out so she looks EXACTLY like a teacup in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, just so she can do a "stunt" on the back wall - together with some of the ugliest animal costumes ever.
And the butterfly ballet is some one's really bad late nite bar idea.
I didn't believe in a single moment of the show. I didn't believe in a single character. I felt the stagecraft was a victory of lack of imagination over endless cash.
There's a moment late in the show where the set suddenly looks like a giant mound of stale Swiss Cheese with limp green spaghett hanging in front of it.
For all of its clunkiness and bad illusions - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in its cartoon form, much like the film of MARY POPPINS, pretty much was a Broadway musical already, so the transition was smooth. LION KING was tougher - and Disney brough in two heavy hitters - Julie Taymor and Gartha Fagan.
But with TARZAN they have gone back to the third guy from the left, and the result is on stage staring back at us.
Not trying to be cruel, or unjust. But what I saw was dispiriting, depressing, and saddening to me.
I did notice that the 8 people flogging CDS were not doing a land office biz after the show.<<