The Verdict: Critics Review Disney's The Jungle Book Musical, Directed by Mary Zimmerman

By Playbill Staff
02 Jul 2013

kash Chopra and Usman Ally
kash Chopra and Usman Ally
Photo by Liz Lauren

The world premiere of The Jungle Book, a new production by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman based on Rudyard Kipling's 1893 collection of stories set in the Indian jungle and Walt Disney's 1967 animated film, officially opened July 1 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

The production will transfer to Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, running Sept. 7-Oct. 6. The Jungle Book is produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, which is providing financial support, creative consultation and access to song material never before heard onstage.

The cast is led by ten-year-old Akash Chopra as Mowgli, the young, spunky and stubborn boy (Roni Akurati plays the role at select performances); Usman Ally as Bagheera, the wise old panther who is serious about the rules of life and the laws of the jungle; Elena Flores as Raksha, the warm, fawning Mother Wolf (Flores will play the Boston run, while Anjali Bhimani appears in Chicago); Kevin Carolan as Baloo the bear, the carefree and irresponsible tutor to Mowgli; Glory Curda as the Little Girl; Thomas Derrah as Kaa, the sinewy, serpentine sly-but-charming villain; André De Shields as King Louie, the ambitious-but-scattered, comic, dreaming orangutan; Nehal Joshi as Rama, a wolf leader; and Larry Yando as Shere Khan, the tiger, the crafty, powerful and dangerous arch-villain.

The critics have filed their reviews, and Playbill.com has collected them for our readers. Playbill will continue to update as reviews are published. 



The Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Tribune

Entertainment Weekly

NewCity Stage

Time Out Chicago

Variety 

For more information visit huntingtontheatre.org or GoodmanTheatre.org.

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Akash Chopra and Kevin Carolan
Photo by Liz Lauren