For my sister's 8th birthday today, we (mom, dad and I) took her to the city to go to the American Girl Store & to see Tarzan. First off, I have to say that I love the city. I live on Long Island & yet have only been there a handful of times (in the past 6 years, I've been there twice before this). I love seeing the skyline as you go over the bridge. That said, I would never want to drive there.
Anywho, after arriving at the city, we headed straight to the American Girl Store. My gosh, I have never seen so many 6-11 year old girls in my life. Not the most exciting part of the trip, but my sister loved it. My advice if anyone here should go there, pay on the upper floors, there are less people there (especially in the Bitty Baby room).
Being that we had some time to kill before dinner at the store, we went on some mini-site seeing. First up was Saint Patrick's cathedral. I have to say that it is so beautiful in there. I love the fact that even when the doors are wide open & the sun is shining, it manages to keep a very low light level. The stonework is beautiful & the stained glass is great. The only thing I don't like about the church is the little gift shop in back. To me, it just feels like it violates that whole Jesus throwing over the tables because they were selling merchandice in God's house thing. Anywho, after that we basically kept within a 2 block radius of the store.
After going back, we had dinner at the store. I have to say the food was excellent. The chicken was delicious and it came with a lot of food. Now whether it's worth $24/person is an entirely different story.
Anywho, finally getting to the topic of this thread, we headed to Tarzan the Broadway Musical. I think Disney really needs to refurb the outside of this theater. Compared with the grand entrance of the New Amsterdam Theater & the very nice looking Lont-Fontanne entrance right across the street, this was a bit sub-par. After a few line difficulties (thank you Rob for clearing things up and being nice), I finally looked at the ticket to see the dreaded words "partial view." After hearing all the stories, I hoped for the best & expected the worst. And on first inspection, we got the worst. We were in the very last row of the orchestra section, the 4 of us seperated by a poll (I was right next to the sound guy). It proved to be pretty good seats though (if I couldn't see something on bottom, I stood up & if I couldn't see something on top, no one was next to me, so I crouched down).
(Spoilers may be in the following two paragraphs)
I thought the show was great (not as good as Lion King though). Set wise, I was disappointed with the opening set, but once the special effects kicked in, it was great. I loved the screen before the show started (with the boat moving). And the various special effects used on stage were great. I though pretty much all the cast was great, with the best probably going to young Tarzan (Alex Rutherford in this show). I liked their interpretation of Terk too. Kerchek wasn't as prominant in this, but all the moments between Tarzan & his mother were excellent & at times made me tear up.
The one character I did not like in this show was Clayton. I prefer the evil Englishman of the movie to the subdued American of this show. I did find it clever (though somewhat anticlimatic) how they did the ending with Clayton being arrested. Overall, act 2 was somewhat better than act 1, but both were very good. Also, the new music is excellent. Going into this, Tarzan definitely had a disadvantage TLK & BatB didn't have (lack of characters singing). But I do think the blend of new songs and old was very well done. As for the seat, it seems as if they made some changes since the original articles debuted on another website. In the short term, all they really have to do is make some of the things a bit lower. Long term, I think they need to change the seating. The orchestra section gets too high to quick.
Overall, I'd give this a 9/10. Very well done, although a few things do need to be worked out. My advice to them, shorten some of the songs in Act 1 (especially Jungle Funk) and make the ending with Clayton a bit more clamatic.
EDIT: Oh, and I forgot to say, I got one of the green Tarzan hats there. Nice, but very overpriced ($20 for a freaking hat? )