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Tarzan swings into Hampton Roads

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 1:33 pm | Updated: 3:25 pm, Mon May 20, 2013.

NORFOLK -- For the third time, Disney Theatrical Group has asked The Hurrah Players to stage the latest hit released from Broadway. Following Hurrah’s sell-out success with regional premieres of “The Little Mermaid” (March 2011) and “Winnie the Pooh KIDS” (August 2012), Disney has honored The Hurrah Players with the rights to introduce “Tarzan” to the Hampton Roads community. With universal themes of love and family, the musical is a perfect fit for Virginia’s leading family theatre company.

Starting Feb. 18, patrons at any branch of the Norfolk Public Library can pick up an educational and child-friendly Tarzan coloring sheet featuring a special discount on tickets to attend the Tarzan performance.

On Feb. 23, Hurrah kicks off a special Tarzan-themed scavenger hunt at The Virginia Zoo. Guests of the zoo who participate in the scavenger hunt between Feb. 23 and March 9 will be entered to win free tickets to see the Hurrah production. All Virginia Zoo members can enjoy discounted tickets to the production.

As director, The Hurrah Players founder Hugh Copeland is once again at the artistic helm of this exciting project. With the majority of characters in Tarzan being gorillas, veteran choreographer Lisa Wallace is charged with “teaching apes to dance.” Drawing inspiration from genuine primates, Wallace creates her own style coined “ape funky” – a mix of athleticism and Jazzercise, which has the ape tribe jumping, rolling and flipping through the jungle.

Musical director Caroline Turco has the thrilling challenge to teach music and lyrics by a world renowned artist – Grammy and Oscar winner, Phil Collins. While the title character, Tarzan, wears little more than a loin cloth, costumers Anne Hilton, Katy Bernier and Elaine Nygaard are tasked with creating over three dozen gorillas of all shapes and ages. Set designer Joe Glass and lighting designer Kate Robinson will turn the TCC Roper Center stage into a visually rich jungle landscape.

Starring in the title role as Tarzan is 19-year-old Zac Jenkins. Jenkins is an Old Dominion University sophomore majoring in Music Business and Vocal Performance, and also performs as the lead singer for the local rock ‘n’ roll band Harold Kreedle. Playing the adventurous English botanist Jane is Grassfield High School senior Rachel Anderson. Anderson’s recent Hurrah stage credits include narrator in “Disney’s Aladdin” and Vi Moore in “Footloose.”

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