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JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?

LimelightMike Profile Photo
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 01:40am
What with Zimmerman's staging playing in Huntingon thru 10.13, is there any word as to whether or not we could see this playing over here in the spring?
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
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RW3
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 01:54am
I do think it will come to Broadway, just not this season. For 3 reasons.
1. The spring season is packed with musicals. It wouldn't be fair for such a unique musical get lost with all the other musicals.
2. Personally, I think they need a new costume designer.
3. I think its better for the show to start Off-Broadway and generate some buzz and them move to Broadway. Also, I think the marquee would look great at the Booth.
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loliveve
Broadway Star
joined:6/24/12
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 02:02am
The latest word from Disney Theatricals (that I have read) was that they were exploring the possibility of sending the show to Europe or India first.
Playbill article:
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 04:33am
I don't see this finding an audience on Broadway.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
AwesomeDanny Profile Photo
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 10:00am
It needs quite a big of work before considering a Broadway transfer. Visually, the show is beautifully. The show had some big sound issues, but they could be resolved without much difficulty. The cast is, for the most part, turning in spectacular performances, with the exception of the child playing Mowgli. The book needs a rewrite. Mary Zimmerman only does her writing during the rehearsal process, and it shows in this production. It certainly has potential, but this was definitely a first draft.

And I completely disagree with RW3, the costumes in this show were beautiful and worked wonderfully.
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ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 10:23am
earliest would be Fall 2014.
A Chorus Line played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013.
brldisteach2
Understudy
joined:11/28/11
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 10:28am
Disney has said they won't put it on Broadway while Lion King is still so popular. They don't want to compete with themselves with two jungle based musicals. (Even if they are jungles on different continents and VERY different stories).
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Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 07:15pm
They did it with Tarzan
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/7/13 at 07:22pm
"And I completely disagree with RW3, the costumes in this show were beautiful and worked wonderfully."

Agree completely with AwesomeDanny's post - except one thing - I thought Baloo's costume was awful. I saw what they were going for, but it didn't work at all for me. I thought the rest were wonderfully and simply evocative without being precious - and I adored the bald butterfly.
Dave516
Chorus Member
joined:9/19/08
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 12:57am
And look how Tarzan worked out for them. They are not going to make that same mistake twice.
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RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 01:10am
I think they should partner with the Public and do the show downtown to get some "cool factor" and generate some buzz.

I heard one of the cast members discussing it on the subway a few weeks ago and she said that they were awaiting the reviews from the Huntington run, and if they were favorable then a transfer would happen. She also said that Disney is sort of vague about it. They gave them some money for the production, but it's not technically a "disney presents" production.
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millie_dillmount
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/04
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 09:18am
"And look how Tarzan worked out for them. They are not going to make that same mistake twice."

There were much bigger problems with Tarzan than just that it ran alongside the Lion King.
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 09:23am
I'm on a bus right now on my way to see the matinee. I'm actually really excited!
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 10:34am
Obviously the comparisons to The Lion King have been and are going to continue to be inevitable, but it is really nothing like The Lion King. Unfortunately I can see the assumption that they are similar leading to unwanted competition between the two if it were to transfer to Broadway, but my God, they really are so, so different.

I love The Lion King and get weepy any time I see it (or even just the puppets out of context). I saw The Jungle Book in Chicago and it. is. stunning. Needs some work in certain areas, but I was speechless -- it's theatrical in ways that The Lion King is not (no offense meant to The Lion King, it's just a different approach), and surprising in all the right places. I wish this production a great future, whatever that turns out to be.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 9/8/13 at 10:34 AM
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 03:17pm
I thought they want to license it out as a substitute to The Lion King since they're not planning to license.
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RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 10:33pm
Whizizer - thoughts?
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ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 11:29pm
it's believed that the cast has it in their contracts that they will transfer with the show when it moves to Broadway.
A Chorus Line played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013.
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RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/8/13 at 11:32pm
How have the reviews been? From the looks of it, it doesn't "scream" Broadway to me. It seems too small, but maybe it could work.
kevers22
Swing
joined:12/28/10
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 12:01am
ACL2006, that is categorically untrue.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 12:06am
I'm just getting home...it really takes a lot out of you making the round trip to Boston in the same day.

This was my first time going to the Huntington Theatre and it was more intimate than I expected the space to be given the scope of the production.

Overall I thought it was very uneven; lots of interesting ideas and some promising stuff, but there was just as much bad as good.

I liked the concept for the music/orchestrations: the orchestra is half jazz combo-half authentic Indian instruments. You don't lose the swing of "I Wanna Be Like You" and "The Bare Necessities," but you also have an added layer atmosphere that wasn't in the animated film.

The greatest asset of this production is Andre De Shields. He is completely stealing the show as King Louie and "I Wanna Be Like You" is miles above any other sequence in the show. The number is the act one closer and it hit me with such surprise and glee that I was ready to stand up and start dancing. The entire show needs to be brought up to this level.

I liked many of the costumes (the monkeys and the vultures were my favorites), but a few of them SUCKED. Baloo needs a new costume immediately. Like at the next performance. Kaa's costume was very bland and could be re-imagined too.

The story is somewhat weak because of its episodic nature. Mowgli goes from animal to animal, sharing a book scene and then listening to a song. There aren't really any stakes for the boy and his journey feels aimless.

The kid who played Mowgli was cute, even if he wasn't the greatest actor. (He doesn't have a song so I can't comment on his singing voice. I think it would be wise to write a number or two for him.) There is an ick factor with the young boy, and they either should re-costume him or think about casting a slightly older actor because as it stands there is an unintentionally pedophile vibe to the character. This little boy is running around in his underwear as a series of older men tell him to trust them and go away with them.

I was not taken with many of the actors, and I think they need to do some recasting if this production continues. I know it's a try-out and the actors are still finding their way, but there were some really weak voices and lots of very amateurish acting going on. It hindering my liking of the show a lot.

The climax of the fight between Shere Khan and Mowgli/Baloo needs to be re-staged. Shere Khan in general is played a poor man's Scar and I think the character should be scarier and more evil than his Lion King counterpart.

I'm glad this wasn't a Bombay Dreams redux, but I think it's a wasted opportunity to not have one nod to Bollywood, especially at the curtain call. The choreography has plenty of room to be tweaked too. Sometimes it's on target and a lot of fun. Other times it feels less than inspired (The Bare Necessities) and Gattelli could punch it up.

I'm glad I went and saw it, but there is so much work that still needs to be done before it's ready for Broadway. I think there is the potential for The Jungle Book to be one of the best Disney stage shows ever if the necessary work is done. I wish the creative team the best.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Updated On: 9/9/13 at 12:06 AM
carajoy
Swing
joined:8/8/08
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 12:46am
I actually came to this board tonight just to see Jungle Book posts, so I'm happy to find one. I saw the show in Chicago and plan to go back to Boston. I'm interested in what you said about Mowgli. What gave it that vibe to you? Just the costume or the way people were handling him? I'm just curious because no one I spoke to who saw it in Chicago had that (and I did not either), so I'm wondering if it's a change or just something that hit you a specific way.
My Huff Po JB in Chicago Story
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millie_dillmount
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/04
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 06:31am
How can you have a Jungle Book musical, but no songs written for Mowgli?
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 07:56am
Neither of the two main characters, Mowgli and Bagheera, have any songs. Bagheera carries the bulk of the book, but it's a big mistake to not let the two of them sing. There are many opportunities for duets, whether they be touching, comic or argumentative.

carajoy, It was a combination of everything that made me view Mowgli that way. After watching Olivia and Elliot take down so many Jerry Sanduskys over the years I found it difficult not to let my mind go there. Here is a very cute, unassuming, naive boy in his underwear, surrounded by older men with ulterior motives demanding that he come with them.

Look at the lyrics to "Trust in Me:"

Trust in Me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me
You can sleep safe and sound
Knowing I am around

Slip into silent slumber
Sail on a silver mist
Slowly and surely your senses
Will cease to resist.

Kaa needs to be played carefully and the song needs to be staged in a way that shows he wants to kill the boy and not fondle him.

I would completely re-stage "Trust in Me" and work a giant snake, akin to a Chinese dragon you see in parades, on to the stage.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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OKBroadwayFan
Stand-by
joined:5/15/12
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 10:26am
Seeing it tomorrow night. Always enjoy Whizzer's reviews, I will post my thoughts on Wednesday
luvtheEmcee Profile Photo
luvtheEmcee
Broadway Legend
joined:12/9/03
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 11:49am
but I think it's a wasted opportunity to not have one nod to Bollywood, especially at the curtain call.

There was one. It was the curtain call. Guess it's gone.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
JUNGLE BOOK B'way Transfer?
Posted: 9/9/13 at 11:57am
That's too bad. I don't have my program in front of me, but I think the curtain call was called "Jungle Rhythm" or something like that? It was a jazzy swing number, and was fun, but I would have liked a gratuitous Bollywood love letter.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!

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