Mar 152015

Ryan Kennedy "young Tarzan" swings across the Amity stage during rehearsal.

Ryan Kennedy “young Tarzan” swings across the Amity stage during rehearsal.

During a very long rehearsal at Amity on Sunday, a few members of the cast of Tarzan slipped on harnesses and tried their “hand” at flying … or swinging — on vines.

Equipment and a trainer from ZFX (zfxflying.com) from Louisville, Kentucky worked with four cast members on Sunday for the first time and trained the crew how to seemlessly float the actors across the stage and land them safely.

Once on “land” it’s up to the supporting cast members to hook and unhook the actors from their harnesses without making it obvious.

There are different types of harnesses for different characters needs. Tarzan (young and old), Ryan Kennedy and Max Karsanow wear a Tarzan harness; Sabor, the Leopard Caroline Burkhart’s harness allows her to leap and do back flips; and a third style is fitted with a steel plate to keep the actor’s back straight as he “swims” up from a shipwreck.

Sunday’s rehearsal was important in so many ways, with only 5 more days before opening night, all the kinks have to be worked out: are all the microphones working? can the stage crew move scenery without being seen? can the orchestra hear the singers? do the actors know where their marks are when the spotlight is on them? are the crew members comfortable hoisting the actors up and safely pulling them across the stage? are the musicians and cast in sync? are the costumes allowing the actors to move easily? is everyone’s wig snug and secure? and the list goes on…

Dan Hassenmayer was working on perfecting the lighting, and the effects look great.

Meanwhile in the hallway away from the action, the parents with tools are working feverishly trying to complete the lobby decorations (which are phenomenal, by the way).

Longtime theatergoers know that lobby decor is nearly as important as the stage performance, as it sets the mood before the audience enters the theater. Every inch of the lobby is related to the play in some way, all of it carefully planned out and executed.

Different stations around the lobby are manned by parent volunteers who engage the audience in a victorian era-jungle manner pre show and during the intermission.

Check out the photos below and if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you should know that the show is nearly sold out.

There are only 6 seats left for opening night; 5 seats available for Saturday March 21; 13 for Friday, March 27; 38 seats in the back for the Saturday matinee; and a few more for closing night.

This is going to be a great show, so visit this site now and get your tickets, still only $18.

Tarzan, The Musical: If You Have Tickets, You Will Laugh, Cry, and Be Amazed By Amity’s Talent

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Mar 072015

Addie Robbins (Jane) and Max Karshanow (Tarzan) during a long Saturday rehearsal.

Addie Robbins (Jane) and Max Karsanow (Tarzan) during a long Saturday rehearsal.

The continuous snowfall throughout February and early March have put a monkey wrench in rehearsal time for the Amity Theater Department. Still, during Saturday’s 7-hour rehearsal, when the stage crew and parents were putting the final touches on the set and lighting man Dan Hassenmayer was working on the special lighting that this show requires and Rob and Andrea Kennedy were working with the cast on their lines, songs and dance moves, everything went along smoothly.

Phil Dolan’s orchestra sounds phenomenal again this year and the cast is really wonderful, too.

Max Karsanow is Tarzan; Addie Robbins is Jane; Josiah Oakley is Tarzan’s lifelong ape friend Terk; Morgan Guadagnoli is Tarzan’s ape mother, Kala; Kahari Blue is Kerchak, the leader of the Gorilla pack; Jacob Leibowitz is Jane’s father, Porter; Ethan Smith is Clayton, the hunter that protects the Porter family on the expedition.

Since Amity has no young children, Ryan Kennedy will play the role of Little Tarzan. If the name sounds familiar, Ryan is the son of directors Robert and Andrea Kennedy.

From what I’ve seen, audiences will fall in love with Max again this year, he’s had primary roles in other Amity musicals over the years, and you will find Addie absolutely delightful.

The play will be completely sold out soon, so, if you haven’t gotten tickets yet, why not do it today? Click this link for the online box office.