December 9, 2005

‘American Idol’ loser to play Tarzan on Broadway

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former "American Idol" contestant
who didn't make the finals of the television talent show will
play Tarzan in a new musical of the classic jungle story on
Broadway next year.

The producers of "Tarzan" said on Thursday Josh Strickland,
who was a contestant on the second season of the hit show on
the Fox television network, would play the lead in the musical
which is due to open in May with music by Phil Collins.

Strickland was knocked out in the early rounds of "American
Idol" in 2003 but has since appeared in the national tour of
the musical "Rent." "Tarzan" will be his Broadway debut.

Gospel singer Ruben Studdard was the 2003 "American Idol"
winner but the most successful contestant from that season has
been runner-up Clay Aiken, who has since had a string of hits.

Earlier this year the producers of "Tarzan" held open
casting calls for the lead, saying they were looking for
somebody "charming, sexy, vulnerable, animal-like, mysterious
and ... toned, like a swimmer."

The musical has been adapted from the Edgar Rice Burroughs
novel "Tarzan of the Apes" and the 1999 Disney film with music
by the former Genesis drummer Collins.