BWW Interviews: Dan Domenech Talks Becoming TARZAN

BWW Interviews: Dan Domenech Talks Becoming TARZAN"Tarzan is the most challenging role for me... Playing Tarzan could also help me get over my fear of being too exposed onstage. In 'Broadway Bares' [a modern-day burlesque fundraiser] every year, those actors and dancers are going crazy taking their clothes off. I have so much respect for people who can do that." - Dan Domenech

New York, June 28, 2013--Away from the bright city lights, first-time uncle and Broadway actor Dan Domenech ("Rock of Ages," "Glee") would rather stay in Farmingdale, Long Island--his hometown--to take care of his eleven-month-old niece. Being away from home because he needed to play lead roles at "Rock of Ages" (U.S. Tour/Broadway) and at Tuacahn Center for the Arts (Utah) for its summer production of "Disney's Aladdin" more or less for the past three years was enough reason for him to feel homesick and to just stay put at home.

But Domenech loves to travel so much. When his voice teacher, Matt Farnsworth, asked him to audition for the principal role of Tarzan in the Asian premiere of "Disney's Tarzan" in the Philippines earlier this year, Domenech could not pass up the opportunity to work with the people at Viva Atlantis Theatricals and stage director Chari Arespacochaga, who are based in Manila.

He joined previous international tours of rock musical "Rent," playing swing roles and the minor role of Paul, which had brought him to Japan, China and Singapore. However, he never had the chance to visit the Philippines until now.

"I want to explore the culture over there. I want to learn a little bit about its history. I want to know what people that live Manila do for a good time at night," Domenech told BroadwayWorld.com on a balmy Spring day in Downtown Manhattan--a few days prior to his first day of rehearsals for "Tarzan" in Manila.

BWW Interviews: Dan Domenech Talks Becoming TARZAN"For the auditions, I got the cast recording; learned the music; and watched the Disney animated version. I put myself on tape--singing tunes from the show such as 'Strangers Like Me,' 'For the First Time' and 'Different'--and sent it to Chari.

"Chari came out here, and we met. We talked about theater and the project. In a couple of weeks later, I got an email that I was going to be Tarzan. That was pretty cool!" he said.

For Domenech, Tarzan is his most challenging role so far.

"Tarzan has never had any human contact. The thing that I'm trying to discover is what's it like to see a human for the first time.

"So I watch a lot of animal videos to see how these animals react to situations that they're not used to. They're always defensive and very cautious, but they're more curious than cautious. And that curiosity is usually what gets them in trouble," he observed.

BWW Interviews: Dan Domenech Talks Becoming TARZANHe added, "That's going to be my main focus. What do I want to push for more? Given that sense of curiosity or being defensive, where do you draw the line? What do you want to push for more?

"Tarzan is [definitely] the most challenging role for me...Playing Tarzan could also help me get over my fear of being too exposed onstage. In 'Broadway Bares' every year, those actors and dancers are going crazy taking their clothes off. I have so much respect for people who can do that."

Domenech has done two Disney title roles--Aladdin and Tarzan--in a row. Does he have any other Disney dream role?

"I wanted to play Gaston, but I can't because Gaston's supposed to be this huge dude. I'm tall and lanky."

Catch Domenech's last two performances as Tarzan at Meralco Theater in Manila today, June 28 at 8 p.m. and tomorrow, June 29 at 8 p.m.

For tickets, visit ticketworld.com.ph.

Photos: Rex Romero | Location: Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown Manhattan

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