Bringing a snake to life was no small feat for ‘The Jungle Book’

Bringing a snake to life is no small feat.

It’s easy enough for a performer to dress up like a bear or a monkey, or any creature with human-like limbs. But a snake?

“How do you anthropomorphize a snake? It’s difficult, because you still need your arms and legs to get around,” says Thomas Derrah, who plays Kaa the snake in “The Jungle Book.”

One way is through ornate puppetry: Derrah operates the front of a 26-foot snake puppet to embody this villain of the jungle.

“I’m sort of the comic villain. Hapless, but dangerous,” explains Derrah. “He’s out to get Mowgli for dinner but he keeps getting thwarted.”

This Huntington Theatre Company production is based on the 1967 Disney movie and Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 stories. Richard Sherman, one of the songwriters for the film, worked with the new show’s creative team.

“I sing a song called ‘Trust in Me’ that’s very seductive. Kaa has this ability to hypnotize people with his crazy eyes,” says Derrah. “They fall asleep and then he eats them.”

The song is actually an unused number Sherman wrote for one of his other movies — “Mary Poppins.”

“I imagine it was orchestrated differently for ‘Mary Poppins,’” laughs Derrah. “It was probably one of the many times where the kids had to go to bed.”

“The Jungle Book”
Sept. 7-Oct. 13
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Ave., Boston
$25-$135, 617-266-0800
huntingtontheatre.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' pits James Brown against…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

Gossip

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…