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The Jungle Book

a Musical Storytelling
by a musical adaptation based on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book originally commissioned by Orlando Shakespeare book and lyrics by April-Dawn Gladu music a

COMPANY : Georgia Shakespeare [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Conant Performing Arts Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4048

SHOWING : July 05, 2011 - July 24, 2011



Come with us on a magnificent journey to the jungles of India, where we will meet up with Mowgli and his animal friends for the adventure of a lifetime! This musical adaptation of Kipling's beloved children's classic is sure to have audience members of all ages dancing in their seats.

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Lots of A-Peel
by Dedalus
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Oppress not the cubs of the stranger, but hail them as Sister and Brother,
For though they are little and fubsy, it may be the Bear is their mother.
"There is none like to me!" says the Cub in the pride of his earliest kill;
But the jungle is large and the Cub he is small. Let him think and be still.
-- Rudyard Kipling, “Maxims of Baloo” from “Kaa’s Hunting

Let’s boil this review down to the bare necessities:

The show has closed, so what I say doesn’t matter. On the other hand, if you and your cubs missed it, be very very sad.

Although this is a musical play based on Kipling’s classic story, it has very little in common with the Disney version. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The entire production came in at under an hour, most of which was spent by the Bandar’s (the monkey tribe) making sublimely dumb puns and jokes. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. One classic they missed – “Do you like Kipling?” “I don’t know, I’ve never Kippled” [Insert rim shot here].

In a wise Children’s Theatre move, the cast used every opportunity to move into the audience and involve them with the story. Oh, to be fifty years younger!

Caitlin McWethy made for a sublimely sexy Kaa (in a G-rated way of course). I’ll be first in line to be constricted (just don’t tell my spouse).

Elizabeth Lanier had so many sadly beautiful moments as Messua, it was a shame she was only Mowgli’s Man-Tribe mother. Ann Marie Gideon was equally nurturing as Raksha (Mother Wolf).

Cordell Cole’s Shere Kahn was slinky and scary and everything you want in a Royal Bengal Tiger and his Chil kited above the action like, well, like an Indian Kite catching a summer thermal. Excellent puppetry and excellent characterizations!

The music was equal parts Indian raga and Broadway razzmatazz – the combination was a thing of beauty and a joy to be-hear.

Monkeys (especially Bandar Tribe monkeys) totally rock! (Another missed pun – “Bananas are my favorite fruit because they have appeal!”)

A simple (and elegant) design evoked Kipling’s jungle and ”Lion King’s” theatricality without reminding us that Indian and African jungles are miles (and worlds) apart. Nice work by Alexander K (set), Katie McCreary (lights), and Thomas Sowers (sound).

The show has closed, so what I say doesn’t matter. On the other hand, if you and your cubs missed it, be very very sad.

I dance on the hide of Shere Khan, but my heart is very heavy. My
mouth is cut and wounded with the stones from the village, but
my heart is very light, because I have come back to the jungle.

These two things fight together in me as the snakes fight in the
spring. The water comes out of my eyes; yet I laugh while it
falls. Why?

I am two Mowglis, but the hide of Shere Khan is under my feet.

Ahae! My heart is heavy with the things that I do not understand.

-- Rudyard Kipling – “Mowgli’s Song”

-- Brad Rudy (



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