BWW Interview: Josh Strickland on Tuacahn and His Time as Tarzan
Josh Strickland originated the title role in Disney's TARZAN on Broadway, appearing on the original cast album, and has continued his successful career in Las Vegas, television, and music.
This summer and fall, he's starring in the unique red rock setting of Tuacahn Amphitheatre as Tarzan and Hercules in Disney's WHEN YOU WISH, which is a colorful revue of Disney music and characters, and as Eric in a reimagined production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID.
Strickland happily spoke with BroadwayWorld about his experience at Tuacahn and the time he's spent playing Tarzan on Broadway and beyond.
1. What led you to be cast in Tuacahn's shows this summer?
I had just gotten back from doing the German production of TARZAN, and I had been over there for over a year and a half. I wanted to be home for a while, and when I saw what Tuacahn was doing this summer, and how close it was to Vegas, I thought it would be fun!
2. How has your experience been performing at Tuacahn? What makes it unique?
I have been coming to see productions here for over eight years. My husband, Todd Dubail, has done several seasons up here, and I absolutely loved the productions. The amount of detail and the scale of the productions is breathtaking. It's so unique because there is truly nothing like it, with the backdrop of the incredible canyon.
3. What are your favorite onstage moments in WHEN YOU WISH and THE LITTLE MERMAID, and what are your favorite songs in the shows to perform?
I love to doing the Hercules section of WHEN YOU WISH. I guess knowing that it is finally becoming a musical makes me so happy cause I have always loved the music in that film and I love performing it in this show. I also love watching my fellow actors in all of their moments, because it never stops with the huge production numbers and characters EVERYONE loves.
For MERMAID, I think it would have to be singing the quartet ("If Only") in the second act. That song is one of my favorite new songs Alan Menken wrote for the Broadway production.
4. You've had a recurring relationship with the character of Tarzan from the Broadway production to the German production to participating in Disney Broadway concerts to returning to the part in WHEN YOU WISH. What has that journey been like for you?
ONE HECK OF A RIDE! Since the show had been running for 10 years in Germany, it was such a challenge for me to recently go back to the production and SO fulfilling in so many ways. Coming back to the part older, I had so many more emotions and colors I could play, and all of the reworking and choreography and flying for the show for the Germany production was just breathtaking to be a part of. Disney and this part, no matter how old I am, will always be a huge part of my life.
5. Did you approach the role of Tarzan any differently in this context? Would you be open to playing it again in another full production?
With this show it is definitely different because it's more of a review of the songs, telling stories in shorter vignettes, so it's more through movement and song instead of having a book to help tell the stories. I would definitely be open to playing it again! Just depends on how old they want Tarzan to be...
6. What is your favorite memory from the Broadway production of TARZAN?
It would have to be working with Phil Collins and getting to create the role and the show with SO many talented artists. We all had such a blast together, and it's people that will be friends for life. To have that experience to share together is an awesome feeling.
7. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Just that theatre is such an amazing gateway for ALL kinds of artists, and even though it can sometimes be challenging, getting to share the stage, doing what we love, with others in our community and with the audiences, is truly something special.
WHEN YOU WISH runs through October 24, 2019 and THE LITTLE MERMAID runs through October 25, 2019 at Tuacahn. For tickets, call the box office at 1-800-746-9882 or visit www.tuacahn.org.
Photo Credit: Tuacahn