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TARZAN The Musical Swings On To SCERA Shell Stage In June

The stage production is based on the Disney film of the same name and the classic book, “Tarzan of the Apes,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

TARZAN The Musical Swings On To SCERA Shell Stage In June

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: Disney's "Tarzan The Musical" to swing onto the stage at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre in June

Chase Ramsey was having a great time performing a lead role in "The Book of Mormon: The Musical" on Broadway when the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered New York City.

Broadway closed on a Wednesday, and Ramsey flew to Utah on Friday where he has spent the last 16 months among family and places he loves. One of his loves is SCERA, a place which Chase considers a second home and where he is excited to direct Disney's "Tarzan: The Stage Musical." The high-flying family adventure takes place under the stars at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre June 4-19 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm.

Despite his extensive theater experience on both the West and East coasts as an actor and director, Ramsey has a fondness for SCERA that began in childhood. "SCERA is where my love of musical theater took flight, and it always feels as if I've come home whenever I'm here. There's something magical about the community of this community theatre. Unlike Broadway, which is as much a business as an art, SCERA is a place of joy."

Tickets are available at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, in person at the main office at SCERA Center for the Arts (745 S. State St., Orem) or 60 minutes prior to each performance at the outdoor venue, located in 600 South 400 East, in the middle of Orem's SCERA Park. Prices range from $12 to $20 for adults, and $10 to $18 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older.

The stage production is based on the Disney film of the same name and the classic book, "Tarzan of the Apes," by Edgar Rice Burroughs. A young boy who washes up on the shores of West Africa with his parents is raised by gorillas after his parents are killed. As a young man, Tarzan meets a group of people who look like him. He is especially enchanted by Jane, a young English naturalist with whom he falls in love-unaware that Jane's entourage is planning to kill his beloved gorillas.

With music and lyrics by Oscar-winning songwriter Phil Collins, songs such as "You'll be in My Heart," "Two Worlds," "Strangers Like Me" and "Son of Man" strengthen the story.

"SCERA presented 'Tarzan' several years ago, and really nailed it," Ramsey explains. "I have felt the pressure to offer a similarly successful production without duplicating the first show." According to Ramsey, the set is a major character. "The story gets additional depth from an impressive jungle set designed by the talented Shawn Herrera. We have the ape man swinging through vines in a setting that works ideally for the show."

Ramsey's concept is to have the jungle come alive, and to that end there are human characters acting as a moving, breathing jungle, and costume designer Kelsey Seaver and her team did elaborate macramé overpieces with vines twisted throughout that will move freely as the actor moves. The director also wanted the jungle to feel alive, so props designer Christy Norton has made tropical flowers with flickering LED lights, a 20 foot snake with glowing eyes, and lit torches. The set design includes giant tree roots, vines, bamboo, a waterfall, rock wall for the gorillas to climb, and ropes for Tarzan to swing on.

Starring as Tarzan is Brian Smith, who created the role eight years ago at SCERA. The role of Jane is double cast with Chloe McLean and Hailey Bennett Sundwall. Keely Conrad is Terk; Coca Galli King is Kala; Jeff Sundwall is Kerchak; Mike Ramsey is Professor Porter; Bronson Dameron is Clayton; Christian Wawro is Tarzan's father; Jude Peter Ramsey is young Tarzan, and Debany Gilson is young Terk.

Assisting Ramsey are Brandalee Bluth Streeter, music director; Janessa Ramsey, choreographer; Sherri Holcombe, stage manager; Elizabeth Ottley Griffiths, lighting designer, Chase Elison, sound designer, Kelsey Seaver as costume designer, and Christy Norton as props designer.

"We are so grateful to be able to do theatre right now," says Adam J. Robertson, SCERA's President and CEO. "In the aftermath of the pandemic, I hope our audiences are swept up in sitting under the stars and being safely entertained."

SCERA welcomes masks, but they are not required.


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