TARZAN Tour - Spider Scene / Cancellation / Score
Or so hearsay would have us believe. I've yet to see a confirmation of this fact. There are as many people who claim that the scene was not cut as there are that claim it was. I don't know who to believe, but since none of the people who claim that it was cut seem to be able to expand upon their statements with information about what replaced the scene and there are no mentions of a new scene in this spot in articles about the minor revisions made for the European productions, I'm certainly more sympathetic to those who say it wasn't cut. What little evidence there is regarding the sequence seems to be in favour of that option.
The reason for the cancellation had nothing to do with how good or bad the show was. The production for the tour was going to be brand new, with a new design and new staging and hadn't opened yet. Neither did the reputation of the Broadway show seemed not to cast a shadow on this new production: there were substantial advance ticket sales. If you read through the article cited above
and some of the others from that time (like this one from Playbill
), you'll see that the tour was a co-production between Theatre of the Stars (TOTS) in Atlanta and The American Musical Theatre of San Jose (AMTSJ) and there certainly was some kind of funny business going on behind the scenes.
AMTSJ had invested money in the production and then TOTS cancelled the production, it seems without consulting AMTSJ, blaming their decision on the state of the economy and claiming that they did not have the money that AMTSJhad invested in the production. Michael Miller, of AMTSJ, accused TOTS of channeling the money to pay for other expenses and AMTSJ was set to follow up on this with legal action. But the financial strain placed upon AMTSJ forced the company into bankruptcy and liquidation, which meant that all of the emplyees of AMTSJ lost their jobs and the company itself had to close its doors.
Subsequently, the Nederlander organisation has taken over the building and now presents touring productions of Broadway shows in the venue under the banner Broadway San Jose
Certainly the design and staging were
the elements of the show that were most lacking in the original production. The score, while perhaps not "great" is not terrible either; it's not even the worst score for a Disney Theatricals presentation and many a show with a comparable score has had a successful life thanks to a tour de force
staging. Certainly, the music does its job given the conventions set up for telling the story musically even if the lyrics really could use some work, not only for the more obvious problems, but also for many tiny little changes - prepositions, conjunctions, articles and so on.