April 28, 2014

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - The southern Illinois premiere of the Disney musical “Tarzan®” will be presented this weekend by John A. Logan College.  The show is based on the popular 1999 animated Disney movie about an orphaned infant boy who is raised by gorillas is West Africa and what happens when he first encounters human beings as a grown man. 
 
Two evening performances are set for Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m. and an afternoon performance will be on Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m.  They will be held in Logan’s O’Neil Auditorium.  Tickets for the shows are $12 for general admission and $7 for JALC students.

“This is the first time ‘Tarzan®’ will be performed locally and it is also the first time we’ve done a Disney musical at Logan,” said Nathan Arnett, a music instructor at JALC who is directing the production.  “We’ve thought about doing it for years and now just seemed to be the right time.  It’s such a spectacle and a real challenge.  The movement is very complicated, and it’s a physically demanding show for the actors, especially those playing apes.  There is also great music and the costumes are pretty extravagant.”

Travis Westbrook of Carterville is playing the title character.

“I heard that Logan was going to do this show last July, and I really wanted to play the role of Tarzan, so I started preparing back then,” Westbrook said.  “I started learning gymnastics, and I began exercising and dieting so I could get in shape for the physical aspects of the part.  The auditions weren’t held until January, so there was no guarantee I would get the role.  It’s a great show and I would have taken any part, but I’m glad my hard work paid off.  It’s a fun and challenging part to play.”

Arnett believes audiences of all ages will enjoy the show.

“I think this show is for everyone,” Arnett said.  “I’m planning to bring my own children to see it.  If people want to find out if it is appropriate for children, they can watch the animated Disney film.  Our production will be very similar to that.”

For more information about “Tarzan®” or to obtain advance tickets, contact the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Events at JALC at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8287.