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Globe North Arts

It’s a jungle out there

David Henry Hwang wrote the book for the Disney musical 'Tarzan,' which has its world premiere at the North Shore Music Theatre this month. David Henry Hwang wrote the book for the Disney musical "Tarzan," which has its world premiere at the North Shore Music Theatre this month. (Associated Press/ File 2010)
By Wendy Killeen
Globe Correspondent / July 10, 2011

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The world premiere of the Disney musical “Tarzan’’ is presented at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Tuesday through July 24.

The show tells the story of an infant boy who is orphaned in a shipwreck and left on the shores of West Africa. He’s adopted and raised by a gorilla grieving the loss of her baby. As he grows, the boy strives for the acceptance of his ape father and to find out why he is different. Eventually, he encounters his first human, a young explorer named Jane Porter.

David Henry Hwang wrote the book of the musical based on both the 1999 Disney film and the original Edgar Rice Burroughs story, “Tarzan of the Apes.’’

He is now working with North Shore Music Theatre on revising the Broadway script for future productions.

The cast includes Brian Justin Crum as Tarzan; Andrea Goss as Jane; and 12-year-old Jack Favazza of Gloucester as Young Tarzan.

The show also features a new 14-piece orchestration of music written by Phil Collins.

“ ‘Tarzan’ is a great adventure story, but also a beautiful story of family, love, and acceptance,’’ said Bill Hanney, the theater’s owner and producer. “The exciting music by Phil Collins sets a jungle beat for this production and will make it the must-see show of the summer for audiences of all ages.’’

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets are $35-$65. Children age 12 and younger get 50 percent off for all evening performances.

Call 978-232-7200, visit the box office at 62 Dunham Road, or www.nsmt.org.

BENEFIT CABARET: Didi Stewart, a two-time winner of the Boston Music Award for best female vocalist, performs tonight with pianist Joe Mulholland at Windhover Center for the Performing Arts in Rockport.

The duo presents an evening of blues, ballads, and American songbook standards, as well as classic rock.

An original member of the 1980s band Girls’ Night Out, Stewart is known for her series of songwriter tributes, celebrating such composers as George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Carole King, Laura Nyro, and others.

Her vocals and original compositions have been heard in films and on television programs including “Medium,’’ “Melrose Place,’’ “One Life to Live,’’ and “Touched by an Angel.’’

Mulholland is a composer and arranger for dance, theater, film, and video; chairman of the harmony department at Berklee College of Music; and a freelance jazz pianist and vocal accompanist.

He has taught at Windhover as music director, and composed and recorded sound design and songs for original productions of “Peer Gynt,’’ “Dogtown Common,’’ and “Battle for Pigeon Cove Harbor.’’

Mulholland has released three CDs with the Joe Mulholland Sextet. He is also a member of the Big & Phat Jazz Big Band and the Indigo Invention Group.

The cabaret begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and proceeds benefit the nonprofit arts center. Call 978-546-3611 or visit www.windhover.org.

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Young-adult author Laurie Faria Stolarz presents two four-day writing workshops for teens age 13 and older and tweens ages 9 to 12 at Spirit of ’76 Bookstore in Marblehead beginning Saturday. She also is offering a two-day advanced creative writing workshop for teens who are experienced writers, on July 23 and July 30. Stolarz was born and raised in Salem and has a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Emerson College. Call 781-631-7199.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: “Artists Along the Sea Shore,’’ an exhibit of works in a variety of media by seven women artists, is at the Gallery at Grosvenor Park in Salem through Aug. 4. A reception is 3-5 p.m. today. The artists, all of whom live in Swampscott or Marblehead, are Susan K. Burgess, Concetta Donovan, Nancy Ferguson, Joan Colt Hooper, Jane McKenna, Ruth Rooks, and Ellie Tomlinson. The show focuses on the region’s seacoast. . . . “Oaxaca: Images and Echoes,’’ a show of black-and-white photographs of the ancient Mexican city by Richard Wilkins, is at the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell through July 24. The photos, shot over 10 days, capture the flow of the city and surrounding countryside. The portraits, street scenes, and landscapes reflect the indigenous cultures of the area and its people.

Arts items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.