Tarzan: The Broadway Musical [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Tarzan: The Broadway Musical [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

4.5 2
     
 
The Walt Disney company's Tarzan project has, from the beginning, borne obvious similarities to its earlier effort, The Lion King. Both began as animated films leaning heavily on issues of family and identity, but also featuring cute, talking animals as major characters. Both employed British pop
ock musicians to write song scores in their familiar

Overview

The Walt Disney company's Tarzan project has, from the beginning, borne obvious similarities to its earlier effort, The Lion King. Both began as animated films leaning heavily on issues of family and identity, but also featuring cute, talking animals as major characters. Both employed British pop
ock musicians to write song scores in their familiar styles. And both were then adapted into Broadway musicals. A major difference between the two, however, is that Elton John, who composed the music for the songs in the movie version of The Lion King (with lyrics by stage veteran Tim Rice), left others to expand the score for Broadway, while Phil Collins, who wrote music and lyrics for the five songs in the 1999 Tarzan movie, wrote an additional nine for the Broadway show. Collins enjoyed considerable success with the Tarzan soundtrack album (also featuring scoring by Mark Mancini), a multi-platinum seller that won a Grammy Award and produced a number-one Adult Contemporary hit in "You'll Be in My Heart." The expanded version Collins has written for Broadway is in the same vein as the earlier material. Unfortunately, the demands of a stage show are different from both what's needed for a children's movie and for the AC charts. Unquestionably, the Tarzan cast album will sound familiar to anyone who's followed Collins' recording career with Genesis and on his own, and not only because he turns up at the end for the obligatory "bonus" track, singing the new "Everything That I Am." The music is imbued with Collins' pop
ock style; the songs are catchy and rhythmic in a way that not only captures the ear on the radio, but should in the theater, too. The real problem lies in the lyrics. Collins seems to understand that theater lyrics, perhaps even more than pop-song lyrics, need to be concise to get dramatic points across quickly and clearly. What he doesn't seem to realize is that that doesn't mean they should be little more than a string of platitudes, clichés, and contemporary slang. Right from the start, when Tarzan is heard mouthing the simple-minded tautology "Put your faith in what you most believe in," the songwriter seems to be talking down to and attempting to spoon-feed his listeners. As in this example, however, the result can be gibberish. The circumstances may not have allowed for it, but clearly Collins needed a lyric collaborator of the caliber of Rice. It's a shame; his words are as bad as his music is good. (In fact, when he is freed of having to make sense, such as when Jenn Gambatese, as Jane, begins reciting the Latin names of flora and fauna in "Waiting for This Moment," or when Chester Gregory II, as Terk, leads the apes through the "Shoo be do" sounds of "Trashin' the Camp," the music seems liberated.) The cast members do the best they can with the songs, but they mostly settle for treating them like the bland AC power ballads they often are. A major exception is Shuler Hensley in the thankless role of Tarzan's adoptive gorilla father Kerchak. In "No Other Way" and even the mawkish duet "Sure as Sun Turns to Moon," sung with Merle Dandridge, Hensley invests his part with character and conviction. Of course, having the only part with even a suggestion of depth or complexity, he has more to work with than the others. Thus, as a musical work Tarzan represents a lost opportunity to make a good pop musical. Theater is a collaborative art; a little more collaboration on the songs for this theater piece might have improved the score enormously.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
Label:
Walt Disney Records
UPC:
0050086154173
catalogNumber:
861541

Tracks

  1. Act 1. Two worlds
  2. Act 1. You'll Be In My Heart
  3. Act 1. Who Better Than Me
  4. Act 1. No Other Way
  5. Act 1. I Need To Know
  6. Act 1. Son Of Man
  7. Act 1. Sure As Sun Turns To Moon
  8. Act 1. Waiting For This Moment
  9. Act 1. Different
  10. Act 2. Trashin' The Camp
  11. Act 2. Like No Man I've Ever Seen
  12. Act 2. Strangers Like Me
  13. Act 2. For The First Time
  14. Act 2. Who Better Than Me (Reprise)
  15. Act 2. Everything That I Am
  16. Act 2. You'll Be In My Heart (Reprise)
  17. Act 2. Sure As Sun Turns To Moon (Reprise)
  18. Act 2. Two Worlds (Finale)
  19. Act 2. Everything That I Am

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Phil Collins   Vocals
Anders Bostrom   Flute
Bruce Eidem   Trombone
Timmy Jerome   Vocals
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Robbie McIntosh   Guitar
Angela Phillips   Actor
Roger Squitero   Percussion
Trevor Barry   Bass
Anthony Kadleck   Trumpet
Charles Pillow   Reeds
Horace V. Rogers   Vocals
Javier Diaz   Percussion
Theresa MacDonnell   French Horn
Shuler Hensley   Vocals
James Abbott   Conductor,Keyboards
Timothy Jerome   Vocals
Jennifer Gambatese   Vocals
Kevin Massey   Vocals
Niki Scalera   Vocals
Rika Okamoto   Vocals
Gary Seligson   Percussion,Drums
J.J. McGeehan   Guitar
Rachel Stern   Actor
Ethan Popp   Keyboards
Kara Madrid   Vocals
Dwayne Clark   Vocals
Marlyn Ortiz   Vocals
Anastacia McCleskey   Vocals
Veronica deSoyza   Actor
Chester II Gregory   Vocals
Daniel Manche   Vocals
Andy Pellick   Vocals
Stefan Raulston   Vocals
Josh Strickland   Vocals
Celina Carvajal   Vocals
Marcus Bellamy   Vocals
Robbie McIntosh   Guitar
Merle Dandridge   Vocals
J.D. Aubrey Smith   Actor
Hugh Mason   Bass
Whitney Osentoski   Actor
Natalie Silverlieb   Actor
Kearran Giovanni   Vocals
Joshua Kobak   Actor
Nick Sanchez   Actor
Sean Samuels   Vocals
Alex Rutherford   Vocals
Martyn Axe   Keyboards
John Elliott Oyzon   Vocals
Michael Hollick   Vocals
Jim Abbot   Conductor,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Phil Collins   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Marius de Vries   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Frank Filipetti   Producer,Engineering
Chris Montan   Producer
Andrew Page   Engineer
Elliot Scheiner   Engineering
Paul Bogaev   Producer
Chris Elliott   Arranger
Alexis Smith   Programming
Bryan Pugh   Engineering
Jason Boshoff   Programming
Janet Wicker   Recording Production Manager

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Tarzan: The Broadway Musical [Original Broadway Cast Recording] 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago