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November 12, 2013

‘Tarzan’ comes roaring to town

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Several actors in the “Tarzan, the Stage Musical” include, crouching, left to right, Savannah Willnus, of Farmington Hills, Kacy Rankin, of West Bloomfield, and Kate Mueller, of Farmington Hills, and, standing, Anne Marie Klinger as Jane.

FARMINGTON HILLS — “TARZAN The Stage Musical” is swinging into town under the production of the Farmington Hills Youth Theatre, and its director, Melinda Sheatzley, can’t say enough about the 1999 Disney-animated film adaptation.

“We are thrilled to present this special adaptation of the classic story of Tarzan,” said Sheatzley in a press release.  “This play is a full-fledged Broadway production, filled with fascinating characters and a beautiful score with music and lyrics by Phil Collins.” 

“Tarzan” tells the story of an infant boy orphaned on the shores somewhere in West Africa. Taken in and raised by gorillas, the young boy strives for acceptance from his ape father, while dealing with his own uniqueness.  His life changes when a human expedition enters his territory, and he meets other humans for the first time. 

The play will be performed by two large casts that include both children and adults.

Sheatzley said “Tarzan” is the Youth Theatre’s first full show. Other times, the Youth Theatre would put on junior shows, or condensed versions of musicals.

“It is a newer show that has been put out, so we wanted to do something new and fresh, so that always inspires the kids,” she said.

The more-than 80 cast members, including roughly 40 children, will perform beginning Nov. 15, with five more performances through Nov. 24 at the Costick Center Center, 28600 11 Mile Road.

“The most exciting thing for me is to watch these children progress and perform,” Sheatzley said.

Nancy Coumoundouros, cultural arts supervisor, said what she loves about “Tarzan” is it is a “touching story that is also full of fun and adventure.”

“I hope families will take advantage of this opportunity to see ‘Tarzan’ right here at the Costick Center,” she said. “The Youth Theatre provides wonderful, affordable family entertainment.”

“Tarzan” performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 15; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 17; 7 p.m. Nov. 22; and at 2 p.m. Nov. 23 and Nov. 24. Tickets are $10, or free for children 3 and younger.  Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available.  Tickets may be purchased at the door, at https://recreg.fhgov.com or by calling (248) 473-1848.

Farmington Hills Youth Theatre productions have involved countless children in performances in the last 11 years.

For more information, call the Cultural Arts Division at (248) 473-1859.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.