Welcome to the jungle

By on April 25, 2018

The costumes and make-up in “Jungle Book” were exceptional, creating the illusion of animals and the jungles of India.

 

Lititz Christian School presented the musical, “Jungle Book” April 12 through 14, in an amazing fashion. The actors ranged in age from nine to 18, fourth grade through seniors. Each contributed to the performance, transforming the story to a living experience.

Adam Cai, a student from China, created the character of Mowgli, learning from his adopted wolf parents played by Jack Christner and Anne VanBuskirk; as well as from the wise panther Bagheera, played by Kierra Flahive, and the bumbling bear Baloo, played by Kristen Pontz. Mowgli’s nemesis, tiger Shere Khan, played by Anna Huber, tries to use the monkeys and some of the wolf pack to capture Mowgli.

The audience was transported through the jungle by means of an incredible set, featuring a Banyan tree with a limb where Bagheera spent most of the night.

In the second act, Mowgli travels to the man-village where he meets his real mother, Messua, played by Savannah Chaboya, and an attractive young tutor named Neela, played by Ava Chaboya. Neela’s father, Buldeo, is the chief of the tribe and was played by Jack Christner. The climax took theatergoers back to the jungle where Mowgli sacrifices himself for Neela but then rids the jungle of the tiger once and for all.

The costumes and make-up were exceptional, creating the illusion of animals and the jungles of India without being silly. The monkeys had a fun song and dance while capturing Mowgli, led by Afton Urquhart, Ella Urquhart, and Grace Reedy. Of special interest was an interpretive dance performed by Lana Bert, done while Mowgli sings a song of wanting to belong.

This version is distributed through LifeHouse Production, a Christian publishing company that strives to keep the script true to the original story. Keeping with Kipling’s view of the natural law of the jungle, this version included the Maker of that law and focused on sacrifice and redemption.

Many thanks to all the individuals who made this performance a success.

Adam Cai (center), a student from China, portrayed Mowgli in Lititz Christian School’s production of “Jungle Book.”

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