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By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Fine Arts Network's 'Tarzan' begins run at old town theater

 

Last updated 8/1/2019 at 11:35pm

Shawna Sarnowski photo

From left, Carlo Garcia as Terk, Anthony Moss as Tarzan and Carissa Fagan as Jane are the stars of "Tarzan" which opens Friday, July 26, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

It's not too late to see The Fine Arts Network Theater Company's production of "Tarzan," the musical based on Disney's animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burrough's "Tarzan of the Apes," now showing through Aug. 11.

The cast stars Anthony Moss as Tarzan, Carissa Fagan as Jane, Heather Thomas as Kala, Randall Matsumoto as Kerchak, Carlo Garcia as Terk and Tim Harvey as Clayton in the main roles, some of the best young actors in the area, according to director CB Rand.

"(This is a) stellar cast of the community's most talented entertainers," Rand said. "The entire ensemble has embraced the vision of our production with open arms. Stepping out of their comfort zones to become more than just a dancer, singer and/or actor – but to embody their roles organically and gracefully."

In the story, an infant boy who washed up on the shores of West Africa is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan. Tarzan's life is mostly monkey business until a human expedition treks into his tribe's territory, and he encounters creatures like himself for the first time.

According to the Old Town Temecula Community Theater website synopsis of the musical, "Tarzan struggles to navigate a jungle, thick with emotion, as he discovers his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts."

"Personally, I love the love that this story portrays," Rand said. "Through the relationships with Tarzan and Jane, Tarzan and Kala, Jane and Porter, Kala and Kerchak and even Tarzan and Terk. There's so my versions of love in this story that anyone who sees this show can relate on some level."

Rand said the cast of actors who portray the gorillas have done a great job so far in rehearsals.

"How do you portray an entirely different species without becoming overly comical?" he said. "Our ensemble of gorillas are not playing King Kong or a goofy chimp, but looking at the characteristics of actual gorillas."

"Tarzan" features music by Phil Collins, including the Academy Award-winning "You'll Be in My Heart," "Son of Man" and "Two Worlds," all of which Rand said is a highlight for him.

"Phil Collins did a spectacular job with the animated movie and then took it to another level with the added song for the musical production," he said.

Shawna Sarnowski photo

Carlo Garcia as Terk and Anthony Moss as Tarzan in "Tarzan."

Rand is leading a new production team for the Fine Arts Network which includes Rand himself who serves as co-choreographer too, musical director Samantha Maxwell and co-choreographer Renee Rand. Joseph Arreola served as the summer camp director for the production.

"We're excited to be doing forward-thinking theater with being the first company to cast a black Tarzan," Rand said. "This gives the story another layer of realism and relevancy. We're proud to be doing theater that makes an impact."

"Tarzan" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1-3 and Aug. 9-10 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 3-4 and Aug. 10-11 at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater at 42051 Main Street in Temecula.

Tickets are $23-$27 and $15 for groups of 10 or more and rush tickets 30 minutes before the show and can be purchased at http://www.tickets.temeculatheater.org or by visiting the theater box office.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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