King Kong is coming to Broadway… is probably a sentence you didn’t expect to hear.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will be based on the novel of the 1933 screenplay and will be “a contemporary take on the classic tale of beauty and the beast,” so, I’m guessing it will explore the giant gorilla’s existential malaise as he struggles to find true human-ape connection in a social order slowly being eroded by social media and smart phone technology.
I kid! This musical production actually has a lot of top-notch talent behind-the-scenes to rework it from its mixed-review debut in Australia in 2013.
Den of Geek favorite Jack Thorne will be writing the book for the show. For stage, Thorne has previously done The Cursed Child and Let the Right One In, so he is no slouch at successful adapatation. He’s currently at work on the His Dark Material TV show. Olivier-winning director Drew McOnie (West End’s In the Heights, Jesus Christ Superstar, Strictly Ballroom The Musical) is directing and choreographing the show.
King Kong himself will be brought to life via animatronics and puppetry by creature designer Sonny Tilders, who has previously worked on the Walking with Dinosaurs and How to Train Your Dragon arena shows. Though the songs and book of the Australian production were mostly panned by critics, the technical feats of the show, which saw an almost 20-foot, one-ton gorilla puppet operated on stage, won numerous awards.
The King Kong score will be composed by Marius de Vries (who contributed to the music for La La Land, Moulin Rouge, and Romeo + Juliet). Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice the musical, Strictly Ballroom The Musical) will be writing songs for the show.
Rounding out the Broadway design team: Peter England (set design), Roger Kirk (costume design), Peter Mumford (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), and Gavin Robins (aerial and King Kong movement director).
The King Kong musical will hit Broadway (hopefully, not too destructively) in fall 2018, debuting at the Shubert space after the current limited engagement of Miss Saigon. Mark your calendars, people.