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."
- PHOTOS: New art and old relics at Mickey Mouse's NYC gallery 25 Pictures
- PHOTOS: See Yes on 3 supporters react to historic transgender rights Question 3 win 11 Pictures
- PHOTOS: A look back at Queen performing in the 1970s and 1980s 22 Pictures
- All of these celebrities have had their nudes leaked 35 Pictures
- PHOTOS: A look at Idris Elba's style through the years 20 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Heidi Klum's annual Halloween party and other amazing celebrity costumes 17 Pictures
- These are the spookiest cities per capita in the U.S. 5 Pictures
- Food Network star talks pumpkin carving 1 Pictures
- Who is Alexander Edwards, Amber Rose's new boyfriend? 9 Pictures
- Is Cardi B pregnant again? This tweet has people guessing 6 Pictures
- Natural Museum's best wildlife photos of the year 5 Pictures
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