One of the most hotly anticipated theatre events of the summer is nearly here. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours NOW. Here at ChiIL Mama we can't wait to see this one! Tickets to The Goodman's Jungle Book are certainly one of the bear necessities of life for summer 2013.
THE JUNGLE BOOK BY TONY AWARD-WINNER MARY ZIMMERMAN, BASED ON THE 1967 WALT DISNEY FILM AND RUDYARD KIPLING’S ORIGINAL WORK, MAKES ITS THEATRICAL DEBUT AT GOODMAN THEATRE
***SECOND EXTENSION WEEK ADDED DUE TO HIGH DEMAND FOR TICKETS, NOW RUNS JUNE 21 - AUGUST 11***
***YOUNG CHICAGOAN RONI AKURATI JOINS AKASH CHOPRA AS
“MOWGLI THE MAN CUB”***
Goodman Theatre’s world premiere of The Jungle Book begins previews on June 21 (opening night is July 1) and, with a second extension week just added, now runs through August 11. Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman reimagines Walt Disney’s 1967 animated hit into a wholly original new work for the stage, drawing from both the film as well as Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories set in the Indian jungle and featuring original Indian-inspired music and dance. As previously announced, 10-year-old Akash Chopra makes his Chicago debut as young “man cub” Mowgli, who comes of age with the help of the anthropomorphic singing and dancing jungle animals; joining him in the role at select performances is Roni Akurati, who most recently appeared at the Goodman as Tiny Tim in the 2011 production of A Christmas Carol. The full 31-member company (19 cast and 12-member band) appears below.
Zimmerman’s new book for the Goodman premiere blends the humor and spirit of Disney’s iconic film with Kipling’s poetry, balancing the jubilant songs from the film with the universal themes about the loss of childhood innocence. “Every adult knows how it feels to have been a child—the time when we're closer to the animals, nature and much freer outside of the rules of man—and how it feels to leave that time of life. I think that's part of the enduring, universal appeal of The Jungle Book,” said Zimmerman. “I want the audience to experience the joys of the music of the Disney film and of a world where you are one with nature and the animals—even with its dangers and troubles—and the recognition that you can’t stay there.”
The score contains seven songs from the film, plus never-before-heard pieces from the Academy and Grammy Award winners Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Richard Sherman collaborates with Music Director Doug Peck, who arranges and orchestrates the music, adding underscoring based both on themes from the film and Indian ragas and dance music. Peck’s instrumentation includes piano/harmonium, bass, drum set, clarinet, saxophones, flute, trumpet, trombone, tuba, Indian snake trumpets, Carnatic (South Indian) violin, sitar, veena, tablas, ghattam, dholak and dhol.
Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli collaborates with Chicago-based Hema Rajagopalan—founder and artistic director of Chicago’s Natya Dance Theatre—to combine elements of classical Indian dance forms with jazz, tap and other types of movement to enhance the storytelling. Rajagopalan’s company performs Bharata Natyam, a major classical Indian dance form that relies heavily on expressive, specific hand gestures.
“I am extremely proud to bring The Jungle Book to Goodman audiences,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Imaginative enough for family audiences yet told with the wit and sophistication that has become a hallmark of Mary’s work, it’s a beautiful new interpretation that captures the power, wonder and humor that have made these stories immortal.”
Tickets to The Jungle Book ($30-$125, discounts available for subscribers, students and military, prices subject to change) are now on sale: visit GoodmanTheatre.org, call 312.443.3800 or in-person at the Goodman box office (170 N. Dearborn). The production runs approximately two hours (including one 15-minute intermission) and is for adults and families with children 6+. The Jungle Book is produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, which proudly supports Zimmerman's development of this title, providing financial support, creative consultation and access to song material, and is also produced in association with Huntington Theatre Company, where it will play September 7 – October 6, 2013. Allstate and JPMorgan Chase are Premier Sponsors of The Jungle Book and ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor. Chicago Tribune is the Media Partner and the Efroymson Family Fund is the Leadership Sponsor. Accenture and Towers Watson are Opening Night Sponsors.
The Jungle Book Rehearsal Photos Via Goodman Theatre:
Akash Chopra (Mowgli) pals around with a backstage buddy during his break in rehearsal for the world-premiere musical adaptation of The Jungle Book.