‘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

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Flights of fancy land on the Lucie Stern Stage

boeing-boeingBy Ande Jacobson

It can be hard to keep up with the hubbub of juggling work and one’s personal life, though keeping to a predictable schedule can help.  Now imagine how one might use airline timetables to arrange liaisons with multiple fiancées, carefully ensuring their visits don’t overlap.  Imagine further how such a plan might go awry, and you have the foundation for Palo Alto Players’ current show, Boeing Boeing, written by Marc Camoletti (originally in French), and translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans. 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