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Mowgli (Ariel Pitch)and Baloo (Ilan Jacobowitz)
All photos by Rhonda Prepes


Cast


King Louie (Jaron Rykiss)


Elephants on parade

 


GRAY ACADEMY PRODUCTION OF THE JUNGLE BOOK KIDS WAS FANTASTIC!!

by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. November 27, 2011

Disney's The Jungle Book Kids performed by Gray Academy’s Grades 5 and 6 was fantastic.

The jungle was jumping with jazz in this energetic performance, under the direction of Miriam Bronstein.         .

Mowgli (Ariel Pitch), Bagheera (Hannah Levit), Baloo (Ilan Jacobowitz), King Louie (Jaron Rykiss) and the gang charged their way through madcap adventures and outwitted the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan (Noah Greenfield). The cast of kids were so talented-- all of them performed their parts well. The whole was even greater than the sum of its parts . They were well rehearsed and it showed.

Gray Academy succeeded in bringing the colorful characters to life, and the costumes, and sets were well thought out, adding to the  quality of the production.

The music of the show included everyone’s favorite Disney tunes, like "That’s What Friends are For," and "I Wan'na Be Like You”.

This was such an entertaining show and was of perfect length (40 minutes) and content for a family audience.

This play brings back many wonderful childhood memories. How can you not tap your toes and sing along every time you hear “Bare Necessities”? The Gray Academy production was truly wonderful! The Jungle Book Kids is a crowd-pleaser for audiences of all ages.

For those who are not already familiar with the story, the tale begins deep in the heart of the jungle, where  Mowgli (Ariel Pitch), a baby boy is lost and abandoned and he is raised by wolves.

Shere Khan, played by  Noah Greenfield, is the menacing tiger, who decides that Mowgli is no longer welcome in the jungle. The roaring Noah is a natural for this part.

To keep Mogli out of danger, Bagheera, the wise old panther,Hannah Levit, plans to guide reluctant Mowgli to the safety of the man village. Levit gave a fine performance.

In their first adventure Pitch's Mogli and Levit's Bagheera meet up with Kaa, the sly snake who hypnotizes Mowgli into a deep sleep. Gray Academy's version of  the snake is an interesting makeup of six actors each having a speaking part and playing a piece of the snake’s coil.

As they continue their journey, Mowgli (Pitch) and Bagheera (Levit)  encounter a herd of elephants and then a giant friendly bear named Baloo, played  by Ilan Jacobowitz. Baloo offers Mowgli his happy-go-lucky philosophy on life, which is quite different from what Bagheera has been telling him. Jacobowitz is also very well suited for the part and delivers another fine performance.

While Baloo is lost in the swinging jungle rhythm of “The Bare Necessities” with the entire cast, a group of shifty-looking monkeys tiptoes in and carries Mowgli off deep into the jungle to the ancient ruins.  This is by far, the best song as it showcases the talents of the entire ensemble in an animated song and dance routine.

King Louie (Jaron Rykiss) and his monkey gang serenade Mowgli with the tune “I Wan’na Be Like You” – which was another lively hit in Gray Academy's production. Baloo, disguised as a very big monkey, and Bagheera sneak in and devise a plan to rescue Mowgli.

Baloo can’t get enough singing and dancing and insists on an encore, but after all the jungle antics, Baloo now realizes the jungle is too dangerous for Mowgli, and agrees with Bagheera to get Mowgli out of the jungle. Mowgli overhears, and not wanting to leave his home, defiantly runs away.

Away from the safety of Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli finds friendship in the other jungle creatures, who promise to protect him if the dangerous tiger Shere Khan (Greenfield) should come around.

Shere Khan shows up and prepares to attack Mowgli, but Baloo rescues him to safety.

Finally Shanti, a beautiful young girl  played by Neomi Block offers to take Mowgli to her village to meet other people just like him.

Block and Pitch make an adorable couple, who go off together, as Pitch's Mogli reminds his friends he will return, for  he will always consider the jungle his home.

Jungle Book Kids is fun for the cast and fun for the audience. The audience sang along with every song! Four consecutive sold out shows in the Berney Theatre. Great job Gray Academy!

To view more photos of the play click here:

http://www.winnipegjewishreview.com/article_detail.cfm?id=1823&sec=2&title=MORE_PHOTOS_OF_THE_JUNGLE_BOOK_KIDS

To view even more photos, click here: 

Musical Numbers
1. Jungle Prologue
2. Kaa the Snake
3. Trust in Me
4. Night into Day
5. Colonel Hathi's March
6. Baloo the Bear
7. The Bare Necessities
8. Monkey Business
9. I Wan'na Be Like You
10. I Wan'na Be Like You Reprise
11. Shere Khan the Tiger
12. Mowgli Runs
13. That's What Friends Are For
14. The Battle
15. The Bare Necessities Reprise – Finale
16. I Wan’na Be Like You Reprise - Bows

Cast
• Mowgli, the boy – Ariel Pitch
• Bagheera, the panther – Hannah Levit
• Baloo, the bear – Ilan Jacobowitz
• King Louie, the monkey – Jaron Rykiss
• Shere Khan, the tiger – Noah Greenfield
• Colonel Hathi, the elephant – David Bogomolny
• Kaa, the snake – Rotem Keynan
• Coconut Tree – Gillian Brown
• Old Monkey – Adam Baron
• Shanti, the girl – Noemi Block
• Elephant Troupe - Yaniv Kobilianski, Natan Skladik, Justin Lieberman, Gabi Greenberg, David Nemy, Ethan Hrabinsky
• Monkeys -  Jamie Gertenstein, Brendan Tessler, Kyle Yaffe, Adam Yusim, Talia Hrabinsky, Emily Kalo, Rachel Cogan
• Jungle Chorus - Jori Ganetsky, Devin Cohen, Gavin Axelrod, Noah Slayen, Noemi Block
• Plants - Samantha Gurvey, Menachem Smierc, Marina Levit
• Bees - Talia Elfenbein, Noa Kaufman, Toby Szkop, Daniel Tchernov
• Flowers - Liel Viner, Sydney Newman, Amy Baron, Emilia Kuropatwa
• Wolves - Myles Cohen, Lee Margolis, Ben Diamond
• Bu

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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