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A Concert in Animal Kingdom
"Tarzan Rocks!" followed "Journey Into the Jungle Book" in Dinoland, U.S.A.'s Theater of the Wild. While the animated film premiered on June 18, the Animal Kingdom show didn't debut until July 2, 1999. The theater pavilion had a tent-like ceiling, was open on the sides and could seat 1,500 guests. There were four or five performances per day. The show was staged as a 30 minute "rock concert". It was not a straight retelling of the film, rather a performance of the songs from the film by singers and performers who did stunts, aerial work and acrobatics to the accompaniment of a live band. The show was divided into six main parts.
The stage had a large curtain with the show's name on it with the word "Tarzan" in the same font as the movie logo. Sound bytes from the film played as acrobatic performers rappelled down on ropes. They resembled monkeys and wore helmets with dreadlocks. The monkeys pulled back on the curtains to reveal several aerialists doing rope work. Another curtain was raised to show the "Two Worlds Band". A male singer and two female singers would sing "Two Worlds" with the band as the aerialists and dancers performed.
"You'll Be In My Heart"
At the end of "Two Worlds", the male lead singer would greet the audience and welcome them to the "Two Worlds Concert Tour". He then would welcome the different types of families (traditional, extended, etc.) and talk about finding where you belong and believing in yourself. While the band and vocalists sang "You'll Be In My Heart", dancers performed around them.
"Son of Man"
During "Son of Man", monkey performers carrying flags would enter from the upper level of the stage, zip around on roller blades through the audience and do jumps on ramps located near the band. Dancers would then appear on stage waving flags as well. At the end of the song, Tarzan swung down on a vine from the top of the stage, doing his famous yell.
"Strangers Like Me"
The performers arranged a floral parachute-type cloth into a canopy to mark Jane's entrance. She would hang her parasol and hat on a performer who posed as a tree and then go to observe and sketch during the song while Tarzan watched her. Jane later would go behind the canopy and change from her yellow dress to a white blouse and brown skirt. She would continue to sketch, go behind the canopy again and emerge in her jungle clothes. Tarzan would then meet Jane and they would compare hands. Tarzan looked at her book and she explained the wonders of her world. Tarzan then showed her his world, then grabbed two straps and spun in the air. He then would take Jane with him and they both spin together and do a series of aerial moves.
"Trashin' the Camp"
Terk would then come out on stage wearing a headset microphone to perform "Trashin' the Camp". Terk's voice was pre-recorded. The audience would be divided into sections to provide accompaniment to the song. The dancers would perform a routine during the song with sticks and flips while the monkey performers danced in the aisles among the audience.
The lead vocalist would thank everyone for joining the concert tour and introduce the stunt and dance "packs" before leading everyone into an encore performance of "You'll Be in My Heart" that included more dancing and roller blade jumps. Tarzan and Jane would swing back in for a final appearance right before "Two Worlds" was performed again. Everyone would then do a Tarzan yell. Two guitarists from the band would then play out the audience and the curtain would close.
End of the Show and Remnants
The last show was performed on January 21, 2006. After the show ended its run, Theater in the Wild was enclosed and "Finding Nemo-The Musical" premiered on January 24, 2007. During the run of "Tarzan Rocks!", there was a pin and a medallion coin (not a pressed penny) for sale in the park and the show was featured on the cover of at least one Animal Kingdom park guide.
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See ya real soon!