Review: Huntington Theatre Company’s ‘The Jungle Book’

Huntington Theatre Company The Jungle Book

Though “The Jungle Book” has many good moments, the Huntington Theatre Company’s latest production lacks the magic that should sweep you out of your seat and onto an enchanting journey to an exotic land.

This adaptation of the 1967 Disney film (and stories of Rudyard Kipling) feels more like a series of loosely connected vignettes than a captivating tale of a young boy’s adventure. Some are great, some not so much, but they all suffer from a lack of continuity.

For starters, the setup feels awkward. When Mowgli, the little boy (man-cub) at the center of the story, first encounters the wolves, there’s a scene in which they howl gratingly — and for far too long. It’s a family-friendly musical, perhaps a catchy song would have done the trick?

As Mowgli wanders through the jungle, he encounters a series of animals, each offering a life lesson that will lead him to the human village. Among the best of these meetings is with Baloo the bear (Kevin Carolan) whose “Bare Necessities” is one of the show’s finest, and most engaging, musical moments.

The real showstopper, however, belongs to King Louie (Andre De Shields), the leader of the mischievous group of monkeys who kidnap Mowgli. The Broadway vet and company elder statesman nearly blows the roof off the place with “I Wanna Be Like You” itself worth the price of admission.
While the set is lacking in inspiration, Mara Blumenfeld’s costumes are, at times, breathtaking. The show also boasts phenomenal musicians that deliver blues with a wonderful Indian twist.

Even the Bollywood-style finale, however, isn’t enough for “Jungle Book” to be more than a pleasant, yet inconsistent, journey.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.