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Tarzan Forum


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Why such a dud? 

Why was Tarzan such a dud?
Poor acting 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Bad singing 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Poor music composure 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Bad advertising 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Bad technical aspects (set, lighting, etc.) 20%  20%  [ 3 ]
A combination of two or more of the above 47%  47%  [ 7 ]
Other 20%  20%  [ 3 ]
What?!? Tarzan was no dud! 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 15

Why such a dud? 
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Post Why such a dud?
Why do you think Tarzan was such a dud/flop/whatever you wanna call it?

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Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:16 pm
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Advertising is CERTAINLY not the problem. It never is with Disney.

I voted for 2+ because I think it was the singing, acting, and the overall design. Nothing good. Oh, and some of the new music composure was horrendous.


Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:15 am
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Well the original disney cartoon sucked why shouldnt the stage version.

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Tony Winner
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I never saw it, although a friend of mine did and loved it.
All i know was that Adam Pascal was origionally supposed to be cast as the narrator in it but they cut that role out of the script or something like that. Maybe if Adam was in it, it would have been good, because anything with Adam is good :D


Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:39 pm
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broadway_bound92 wrote:
All i know was that Adam Pascal was origionally supposed to be cast as the narrator...but they cut that role out of the script or something...


And how do you know that juicy piece of information, may I ask?

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Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:04 pm
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Tony Winner
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I know I read that Tarzan was originally supposed to be presented in a tent with 'monkeys' swinging all around the audience and such. I think this would have worked better, given a fairly average show a novelty. It would have been something new and different. Instead of the same old.

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Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:50 pm
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Tony Winner
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ActingDude17 wrote:
broadway_bound92 wrote:
All i know was that Adam Pascal was origionally supposed to be cast as the narrator...but they cut that role out of the script or something...


And how do you know that juicy piece of information, may I ask?


Well, I should say I heard that info. And I believe it was on adam-pascal.com


Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:52 pm
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Post Why was TARZAN such a dud?
Luc wrote:
Some of the new music composure was horrendous.

The music composure? :roll:

Anyway - the music was the least of the shows problems. Indeed, even when the lyrics of the show aren't what they could/should be, most of the time the music is doing the job it needs to do dramatically within the constraints of the musical language set up as a convention for telling the story through music in the show. The major exception is "Trashin' the Camp", which was ported over from the film, and that was arguably one of the things that should have been cut. It's a fun piece of music, but as a piece of dramatic storytelling it's simply doesn't work in the show. Other than that, only "I Need to Know" and "Everything That I Am" bump their heads because of the pop song structures employed in their creation and "No Other Way" doesn't sit as well as it could, although it'd hard to imagine how it could be changed given the way that the score is set up musico-dramatically. There are some other minor problems, but for the most part, the music does what it's supposed to do. The lyrics are far more problematic and even a bit sloppy in places; the improvement of these really could strengthen the show as a whole.

Salome wrote:
The original Disney cartoon sucked. Why shouldn't the stage version?

The film version of Tarzan is perhaps not great, but it's not completely awful either and it's certainly enjoyable. It has a lot going for it: for the most part, it is a piece of engaging storytelling with some well-defined characters brought to life by solid voice work and some fine animation. Furthermore, because of its departure in content and style from the typical Disney films of that period, it avoided some of the creative pitfalls that found a home in Mulan, the film which preceded it: compromises in storytelling, problems with the pacing of the piece as a whole and a score that was derivative of the Ashman and Menken scores without being anywhere near as good.

Even so, the film version Tarzan is not without it's flaws and the show was able to make some improvements, like making Terk a male gorilla and thereby providing a more dramatically successful foil and confidante through which we can see Tarzan's development and getting rid of Tantor, a sidekick character that, while cute and funny, seemed out of place in the world of the film. That said, the stage adaptation creates its own problem, though the change of Clayton from an Englishman into a Southern redneck, for example. Both are ultimately creations of mixed accomplishment.

LittleGavroche wrote:
I know I read that Tarzan was originally supposed to be presented in a tent with 'monkeys' swinging all around the audience and such. I think this would have worked better, giving a fairly average show a novelty. It would have been something new and different instead of the same old.

There certainly were talks early on in the preparation process for Tarzan about presenting the show using an environmental set-up. But this would have required a non-traditional performance space, which is something on which Disney ultimately should have followed through rather than forcing the show into a traditional set-up in the poorly chosen Richard Rodgers theatre. The idea was certainly picked up when the show was produced in Europe, although I feel that the changes were cosmetic (and well done, given that so much of the original design ideas were retained) instead of being built from the ground-up, as it were. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

broadway_bound92 wrote:
Adam Pascal was originally supposed to be cast as the narrator, but they cut that role out of the script or something. I believe (this information) was on adam-pascal.com

Whether that piece of information is true or not, the idea of a certainly is one that haunts the show today. Who should be singing things like "Two Worlds" and "Son of Man". We had Tarzan on the former and Terk on the latter, although "Two Worlds" was subsequently given to Terk in one of the European productions. But what is the purpose of allocating the numbers as such? The fact that who is doing this narration (perhaps delivering commentary on the dramatic action is a better way of looking at it) isn't clear and that the narration/commentary isn't effectively carried through the show as a whole is one of the gaps in the way in which the show was conceived.

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David

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