In the original 1933 movie, giant gorilla King Kong was put on display onstage on Broadway in an elaborate production that sadly goes horrifically wrong when he thinks his beloved Ann Darrow (originally played by Fay Wray, followed by Jessica Lange and Naomi Watts in remakes) is in danger. Now, fittingly the behemoth is rampaging back to Broadway in December in a new musical!
The show is currently conducting a test run in Melbourne, Australia, but producer Gerry Ryan states that the show will be adjusted before making its US debut:
“We’re having to tweak it a little bit, a little bit more music, and polish up the script. We did get a script doctor, try and tighten the show up, for the audience to follow the story a little bit easier. [Broadway] is the theater capital of the world and, you know, Kong is a natural fit in New York.”
(Well, that’s one way to look at it…)
The show’s score is by Grammy nominee Marius de Vries and the book is by Tony nominee Craig Lucas. Daniel Kramer is serving as the director of the show. Set during the original movie’s time frame, the show employs such famous period songs such as “Get Happy,” “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.” In addition, contemporary artists are being brought in to provide additional tunes. These artists include Sarah McLachlan, Robert Del Naja, Justice, Guy Garvey and the Avalanches, Michael Mitnick and Stephen Pavlovic.
13 live operators are necessary to operate the huge Kong puppet onstage.
The original movie follows obsessive film director Carl Denham as he voyages to a mysterious island in order to capture the legendary creature Kong. He brings with him homeless aspiring actress Ann Darrow and is accompanied by Jack Driscoll, the first mate of the ship and other crew members. They succeed in capturing the colossus, but things just spiral out of control from there.
The Australian run began last spring and you can witness this commercial which gives you a hint at the tone and nature of the show.
Are you a Broadway musical fan? Will this show prove to be a huge hit like ‘The Lion King’ or will it flame out like ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’?