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See ‘The Jungle Book’ at Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix

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Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc., “The Jungle Book” opens Friday, Feb. 7, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 23, at Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., in Phoenix. The play is based on Rudyard Kipling’s short stories about a boy named Mowgli, first published as a compilation in 1894. The adventure-comedy tells how Mowgli was raised by wolves, befriended by a bear and hunted by a tiger.

According to Bobb Cooper, VYT’s producing artistic director, “The theme of this story runs deeper than ‘a boy and a bear.’ It deals with some complex issues, like adoption, prejudice and finding one’s own identity.”

Vincent Jacovo takes the role of Mowgli. Previously, Jacovo played Jojo in “Seussical” at VYT. Sophia Deyden, who played the lead in “Dora The Explorer Live!” at VYT, will appear as Mother Wolf, and her brother Erick Deyden will be Father Wolf. Playing Baloo is Tim Oakes, who is making his sixth appearance at VYT. Destiny Walsh will play Bagheera.

Remaining cast members include Constantino DeAngelis as Cub, Kaila Inman as Funky, Alexandra Kirby as Black Kite #2, Josh Pike as Tabaqui, Katy Sprowls as Kaa, Eli West as Wolf #1, Sophia Drapeau as Black Kite #1, Cole Flowers as Wolf #2, William Harris as Shere Khan, Anand Khalsa as Akela, Zane Niezgodzki as Cheeky, Ethan Shanker as Trout and Hayley Trueman as Black Kite #3.

Celebrating its 25th season, Valley Youth Theatre has won more than four dozen National Youth Arts awards. The professional quality non-profit theater produces six mainstage shows each season, including two at the Herberger Theater Center.

Tickets to “The Jungle Book” are $18.00 each, plus service fees, and may be purchased online or by calling the box office at (602) 253-8188.

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Follow me on Twitter @DorisNehrbass.

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