It's a jungle in here!
Looking for some family-sized fun to fill up a chilly weekend afternoon?
The Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center is planning a full slate of activities for the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 24 -- culminating in the 4 p.m. performance of a musical interpretation of the Rudyard Kipling literary classic, "The Jungle Book."
Kipling wrote the enduringly popular children's novel in 1894, putting together a collection of stories that tell the tale of Mowgli, a human child adopted and raised by wolves in an Indian jungle.
In this new musical, Kipling's tale is brought vividly to life as the Holmes Theatre is transformed into an exotic jungle populated by familiar characters, including Mowgli, Baloo and more.
Familiar characters -- yet different, says Dave Morgan, who wrote and directed this musical adaptation for the touring company of Magik Theatre, based in San Antonio, Texas.
"I read lots of different versions (of the story) as a kid," adds Morgan, who is the theater company's technical director. "I loved the Disney one, but... it's not Kipling's story."
Of all the versions Morgan reviewed in preparing his script, he found very few that adhered to Kipling's original vision of the tale.
"Not many out there were being honest to Kipling's words," he says. "So I decided to write (a musical adaptation) that was as true to the original book as possible."
The 10 characters in Morgan's adaptation are played by a cast of five actors -- each of whom takes on multiple roles.
"There are some 15-second quick changes off stage, as they come off and then come back on as another character -- which is part of the fun, seeing how different the characters can be when they've only been off stage for a few seconds," Morgan says.
In addition to its touring productions, Magik Theatre also produces plays locally, in San Antonio. "This year, we will play to about 200,000 people at our theater (in San Antonio), and on tour, even more," says Morgan.
The non-profit theater company is in its 15th year of producing shows -- all of which are based on books.
"All our shows are literature-based, and almost are original interpretations," says Morgan, who pens at least a couple of them every year ("taking turns" with executive director Richard Rosen).
"We're trying to get kids interested in reading and the arts, by tying them together," he explains.
Tickets for the Oct. 24 presentation of "The Jungle Book" are $16 for adults and $8 for students. Call 218-844-SHOW or buy online at www.dlccc.org.
An afternoon of activities
In addition to "The Jungle Book," the DLCCC is planning a wide range of family-oriented activities for the afternoon of Oct. 24, starting at 1 p.m.
The Fitness and Aquatics Center will be open to the public for the afternoon, free of charge. Kids and adults can enjoy several hours of swimming, climbing and a variety of other physical activities.
Inside the Historic Holmes Theatre, on both floors, there will also be a variety of arts activities -- which will either be free or have a "minimal charge," said Becky Mitchell, one of the participating artists.
Downstairs in the theater lobby, artist Hans Gilsdorf will be coordinating a community art project that will eventually be hung in the lobby.
Upstairs in the ballroom, artists Mitchell, Joann Knapp, Barb Groth, Lori Lindquist and others will be organizing various art projects such as making paper and paper mosaics, animal masks and more.
All activities will either be free, or include a participation fee of "five dollars or less," Mitchell said, to cover the cost of materials.
Artist Becky Sletto, who is in the process of opening a new ceramics/pottery shop in Detroit Lakes known as The Clayground, will also be on hand to help participants make their own glass ornament.
The ornaments, once completed, can either be hung at the theater, free of charge, or taken home for $2 apiece.
In addition, there will be concessions available for purchase all day, including not only the usual snack items like popcorn and candy, but hot dogs and a few more substantial items. For more information about all the activities going on at the DLCCC Oct. 24, call 218-844-4221, or visit the web site, www.dlccc.org.