‘Tarzan’ swings into Palo Alto in style

By Ande Jacobson

Palo Alto Players’ Tarzan is a Disney favorite suitable for all members of the family. The show is based on the 1999 animated film of the same name, with music and lyrics by Phil Collins and book by David Henry Hwang. The original Broadway show made its debut in 2006 and has delighted audiences worldwide since then. It’s a visually spectacular show with actors singing and swinging across the stage (and over the audience at times). In true Disney form, the heroes and villains loom large, and the story careens through a fairytale sequence of tragedy, joy, suspense, and finally, exuberant triumph in the familiar tale of two worlds colliding in the jungle. Continue reading


Let PAP dazzle you

press_chicago_0711-lo-resBy Ande Jacobson

Bob Fosse collaborated with John Kander and Fred Ebb to create a show that in 1975 first dazzled audiences with its glitz, glamor, murder, and corruption, although the critical response was initially mixed. The show later enjoyed a 1996 revival that hasn’t quit. Chicago is that show, and it exemplifies the Fosse style. It is based on a play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins’ play was a satirical story based on two real-life, high profile murder cases from 1924 that she covered as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. A popular musical form of the time, jazz, figures very heavily in the musical score, and Palo Alto Players is pleased to open its 85th season with a spirited, high quality production of this classic Fosse extravaganza. Continue reading

East meets west in “Miss Saigon”

Saigon129FBy Ande Jacobson

Palo Alto Players (PAP) tackles a classic story with their production of Miss Saigon, by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Richard Maltby, Jr., which is based on Giacomo Puccini’s tragedy, Madama Butterfly, about a doomed romance between an Asian woman and her American GI lover.  The modern version keeps the drama and concept on which Puccini’s opera was based but modernizes the story and brings it to Vietnam, and PAP makes a valiant effort to stay faithful to the script.  Overall, it’s a production worth seeing in spite of a few shortcomings. Continue reading