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MousePlanet readers are likely familiar with Dave Avanzino, the Southern California artist behind Disney's popular Custom Name program. Avanzino has also created a large collection of pieced paper art and deluxe prints for the Disney Gallery and Disneyana stores.


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A 1/4" scale model of the "Tarzan" set shows the many of the set pieces designed by Dave Avanzino. Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.

When he's not working on Disney projects, Avanzino lends his talents to a number of different projects, most recently creating a series of outdoor murals for the new Miguel's Jr. restaurant in the city of Orange. He is also a gifted set designer, creating backgrounds for productions at Eastside Christian Church and teaching workshops.


Avanzino designed and painted the ship used in the Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.


Avanzino painted cardboard boxes to create lightweight crates for the ""Tarzan" set. Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.

Avanzino, who recently told the Orange County Register that his first passion is performing, gets to show off both his painting and acting skills starting tonight, in the Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." The artist not only created the sets and many of the props for the show, but will take the stage as Professor Porter, father of scientist Jane. The artist shared some of the photos from the set design and construction process with MousePlanet, to show how he used wood, paint, a wet mop, cardboard boxes, baby dolls and even a stuffed gorilla to set the scene.


Jane and Tarzan share a moment in front of palm tree set pieces designed by Dave Avanzino for Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.


Avanzino says he calls this painting technique a "Muppet wash," because he feels like he's painting with a Muppet. Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.

"Tarzan" is shown at the PYLUSD Performing Arts Center, on the campus of El Dorado High School in Placentia.

Performances are:

  • Friday July 18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday July 19, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday July 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday July 25, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday July 26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday July 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

All tickets are $25; seats are assigned in the order purchased.


Jane reads to Tarzan in the Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.


Orange County artist Dave Avanzino designed the sets for Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.

Musical Theatre Orange County is a 501 C(3) organization created by Lori and Mitch Atkins. Mitch has been a senior tech director at the Disneyland Resort for 25 years, and Lori says many of the "Disney friends" have volunteered many hours to help make MTOC's shows "really more of a Broadway level type production."

MTOC's mission statement is:

Musical Theatre Orange County was born out of a desire to give the youth of our community a chance to experience professional theatre, and learn from working industry directors, choreographers, musical directors and technicians.


The stage is set for the "Trashin' the Camp" scene in Musical Theater Orange County's production of "Tarzan." Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.


Avanzino assembled a baby gorilla for the play using parts from toy dolls and a stuffed gorilla. Photo courtesy of Dave Avanzino.

Lori tells MousePlanet. "We wanted to create a kind of Civic Light Opera that focuses on youth. Partial age appropriate casting will allow certain roles to be cast with seasoned professionals, giving the younger actors the opportunity to work with and learn from these artists. Also, we will showcase these actors in major musicals with exceptional production values giving our young artists a taste of Broadway."

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the MTOC website.


 



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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.