Some 85 years after appearing on a Broadway stage in his first movie, Kong will make his debut on the Great White Way for real.
According to Deadline, a musical version of King Kong will open in Broadway' Shubert Theatre in the fall of 2018. The exact opening date, cast and ticket info will all be announced in the months ahead.
The show is written by Jack Thorne, who scripted the award-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and who also wrote the stage version of the outstanding Swedish horror film Let The Right One In. Drew McOnie will handle the direction and choreography, while the music and songs will be composed by Marius de Vries (La La Land) and Eddie Perfect (who wrote the songs for another upcoming Broadway genre-based production, Beetlejuice).
Kong himself will be brought to life via animatronics and puppetry by designer Sonny Tilders, with producer Carmen Pavlovic from the company Global Creatures saying:
“I’m thrilled that King Kong will be coming to Broadway next season led by Drew McOnie and Jack Thorne, who will bring a new dimension to the telling of Kong’s story. Drew’s physical world will allow Kong to live in ways we never thought possible, propelled by Jack’s text and the score and songs written by Marius de Vries and Eddie Perfect.”
Co-producer Roy Furman added:
“King Kong is a quintessential New York story and I’m proud to be involved in this historic production. Our team is creating a theatrical experience that we hope will astound audiences, while delighting them with its heartfelt storytelling.”
I have to admit that I have not been to a Broadway show in many years, but it seems as if the scene there has been taken over by outlandish spectacles and stunt productions, many of them based on movies or existing pop culture brands. The notoriously troubled but ultimately successful Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark comes to mind, for one.
The irony of all this is that Kong was first displayed to a New York audience in a Broadway theater during the climactic scenes of the classic 1933 movie, with unfortunate results. Let's hope that the King Kong musical doesn't turn into the theatrical equivalent of that. Do you think King Kong can work as a stage musical and, more importantly, would you pay top dollar to see it?