RFH Stage Set to Swing with ‘Tarzan’

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players are in full swing rehearsal mode, setting the stage for their production of Disney’s Tarzan.

The show is slated for the end of March:  at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25; and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26.

Based Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan of the Apes and Disney’s animated musical movie, with music by Phil Collins, the RFH production will feature high-flying choreography and music, such as the Academy-Award-winning You’ll Be in My Heart.

The story is set  in West Africa, where an infant boy washes ashore and is taken in by a gorilla named Kala (Rachel Makstein) who gives him the name Tarzan.  As a child, Tarzan (Brennan Hughes) realizes that he is different from the others but does not understand why.

Kala tries her hardest to protect him, while her husband and the leader, Kerchak (Calvin Bruno) believes that Tarzan is a danger and a menace to the entire tribe. Tarzan finds understanding and friendship with another young outcast gorilla named Turk (Jake Rallo) and they support one another as they grow older and stronger.

As Tarzan (Liam Hughes) grows into an adult, his life takes a dramatic turn when an expedition crew arrives to study the jungle. Tarzan encounters humans, creatures like himself, for the very first time, in the form of animal-loving academics Jane (Bailey Newsome), her dad Porter (Michael Bogardus), and their cruel guide Clayton (Josh Beacher).

Rather than seeing the beauty of the land, however, Clayton sees the potential for money and power. Clayton’s mindset frightens both Kerchak and Tarzan, and the tension between the human and animal worlds causes more confusion as Tarzan’s animal upbringing clashes with his human instincts.

The ensemble cast features students surrounded by a rainbow-colored set portraying island spirits, gorillas, butterflies, flowers, and birds in song and dance. Production numbers are set to feature feats such as the butterflies climbing silks and butterflies and gorillas performing acrobatics while hovering above the stage a la Cirque du Soleil.

Tarzan is directed by Suzanne Sweeney with KasiAnn Sweeney as assistant director. Jen Costa is choreographer, and Amy Fredericks is music and vocal director. Set and technical director is Matt Leddin, and play production coordinator is Stefania Flecca.

Tickets — $10 for general admission, and $6 for students and seniors — can be purchased by visiting the school’s website, rumsonfairhaven.org.

— Edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH)

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management