King Kong will scale the Broadway Theatre this fall when the new musical opens on November 8, 2018. Previews are set to begin on October 5. Producers of the lavish and intricate production have announced principal casting. A Bronx Tale‘s Christiani Pitts will star as Ann Darrow, and Eric William Morris, who played Sky in Mamma Mia!, will play Carl Denham.
The musical features a book by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), a score by Marius de Vries (La La Land and Moulin Rouge), and songs by Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice). Drew McOnie (Strictly Ballroom: The Musical) will direct King Kong, which promises to be an “innovative mix of robotics, puppetry, and stagecraft.” Sonny Tilders designed and developed King Kong for the stage production, combining animatronics and puppetry in a nonpareil tour-de-force of stagecraft.
Book writer Jack Thorne said “This is an epic story but also a really intimate one – about the limits of ambition and the cages we’re put in. Thankfully, in Christiani and Eric we’ve two remarkable talents who’ll lead our incredible company beautifully.”
King Kong is based on the 1932 novel of the same name, as well as the subsequent motion picture. The story tells of a filmmaker in search of a spectacular shooting location who takes his film crew and a budding starlet to an unchartered island where they encounter Kong, a 2,000 pound gorilla who forms a fascinating and intimate relationship with the beautiful movie star. Only when the beast is brought to civilization and man turns on him does his true nature reveal itself.
The design team for King Kong will include Peter England (Set and Projection Design), Roger Kirk (Costume Design), Peter Mumford (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), Gavin Robins (Aerial and King Kong Movement Director) and Tom Watson (Hair Design).
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.