Disney’s first two outings took Broadway by storm, but just as its luck with the movie musical has fallen over the last half-decade, so has its hold over the stage musical. Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were enormous successes (though the latter is a bit overrated). Disney only had one other musical, the critically mixed Aida, hit the stage, and that wasn’t even based on a Disney film.
Tarzan is an odd choice as the next Disney film to pick up the reins, though not a foolish one. Phil Collins won an Oscar and a Grammy for the music. It was certainly the most memorable in the last decade. But the tale itself did not quite lend itself to a Broadway berth. Characters never sang the songs; Collins did, and I was dubbed over.
As a result, some of the soundtrack gets lost in translation. In addition to the standouts from the film, “Two Hearts,” “I Want To Know,” “Son of Man,” and the winning “You’ll Be In My Heart” (legitimately a great, great song), Collins has created several new songs (sans his partner from the film Mark Mancina). These include “Sure as Sun Turns to Moon” and a particularly strong “Everything That I Am,” sung by both Strickland and later on reprised by Collins.
Former American Idol contestant Josh Strickland voices the lead role, and does a suitable job, though supporting performers Jenn Gambatese, Merle Dandridge and Tony-winner Shuler Hensley provide more resonance. Still, it is odd at times to have characters sing the songs that were originally written as omniscient narrations.
This is a soundtrack that has promise, perhaps more so than the show.Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.