RAMAT GAN - A new version of the successful Hannuka children’s musical, “Tarzan and Jane,” is being shown throughout Pesach, as well at other holidays, in what may be the best place to show Tarzan’s adventures, the Safari Park of Ramat Gan, where real animals roam
The stars are Guy Arieli as Tarzan and Yael Duani (sister of well-known pop singer Roni “Superstar” Duani) as Jane. The original stars of “Tarzan and Jane” when it debuted last fall were two of the best known stars of Israel’s enterntaiment world, not least because of their good looks - actors Yehuda Levy and Yael Bar-Zohar.
Burroughs' family OK's plot twist
Bar-Zohar first appeared as Jane in a 1999 children’s TV program, a parody of the Tarzan story in which Jane was presented as the shrewish wife of a particularly stupid Tarzan who had to fightfighting for his attention against a beautiful woman explorer. That half-hour movie was filmed in the “Monkey Park” of Ben Shemen Forest.
The musical was written by well known humorist and playwright Ephraim Sidon, and directed by Hanoch Rosenne, both of whom had already collaborated on a hugely successful and prize-winning adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
As children’s musicals for a holiday go, this is a good one. It describes the first meeting of Tarzan and Jane in the jungle and their fight with two evil men who want to kidnap Tarzan for the circus. Part of the plot, which original “Tarzan of the Apes” author Edgar Rice Burroughs probably would not have recognized was having Jane defeat the two criminals by herself and save Tarzan.
However, playwright Sidon says that a Burroughs family representative who looked closely at the story and the musical in development enjoyed it.
It remains to be seen if the new group of actors will be inspired to do even a better job of adapting Tarzan’s adventures in its “natural” setting - the safari.