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updated: 7/15/2013 6:07 PM

Goodman extends enchanting 'Jungle Book'

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  • Andre De Shields' King Louie, left center, entertains young Mowgli (Akash Chopra) and brings down the house with his raucous rendition of the classic "I Wanna Be Like You" in Goodman Theatre's production of "The Jungle Book," directed and adapted by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman.

      Andre De Shields' King Louie, left center, entertains young Mowgli (Akash Chopra) and brings down the house with his raucous rendition of the classic "I Wanna Be Like You" in Goodman Theatre's production of "The Jungle Book," directed and adapted by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman.
    Photo by Liz Lauren

 
 

Goodman Theatre has extended for the third time its world premiere production of "The Jungle Book," adapted and directed by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman from Rudyard Kipling's 19th century stories and the 1967 Disney animated film.

Performances continue through Aug. 18 for the production, which opened June 30 and has played to 99 percent capacity ever since, Goodman representatives said. The show reportedly is on track to become the best-selling musical in the theater's 88-year history.

Zimmerman's gorgeous, cleverly framed production boasts Richard and Robert Sherman's irresistible, jazzy score, which music director Doug Peck has infused with Indian music, to brilliant effect.

Akash Chopra makes his Goodman debut as the orphaned "man-cub" Mowgli, who's adopted by a wolf pack and mentored by Usman Ally's principled panther Bagheera and a good-natured bear named Baloo, played by Kevin Carolan. The ebullient cast also features Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre favorite Larry Yando, who is suitably menacing as the villainous tiger Shere Khan, and the irrepressible Broadway veteran Andre De Shields ("The Wiz," "Ain't Misbehavin'"), who as King Louie brings down the house with his rollicking rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You."

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