John Rando May Stage King Kong's Broadway Debut

News   John Rando May Stage King Kong's Broadway Debut
 
Tony Award-winning Urinetown director John Rando, currently represented on Broadway with the revival of On the Town, is in talks to direct the Broadway premiere of King Kong, the Australian stage musical spectacle that has been eyeing a future New York life.

http://images.playbill.com/photo/k/o/kongnew200_1384469077.jpg
Photo by Jeff Busby

The New York Times reports that Rando will fly to Australia to meet with producers and members of the creative team to discuss revisions to the show.

It was previously reported that producers parted ways with director Daniel Kramer and librettist Craig Lucas due to "creative differences" as the new musical undergoes revisions for a North American premiere. A timeline for King Kong's Broadway arrival is not in place.

Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright-librettist Marsha Norman (The Secret Garden, The Bridges of Madison County, 'Night Mother) has been brought on to rewrite the book for King Kong.

Both director Kramer and Lucas (The Light in the Piazza) were part of the original creative team of King Kong when the musical premiered in June 2013 at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne. 

Reviews for the production, which can be read here, were mixed. The New York Times previously reported that King Kong may go into the Broadway Theatre following a reported Broadway run of the musical Dr. Zhivago. The Broadway Theatre is currently home to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which ends its run Jan. 3, 2015.

Producer Carmen Pavlovic of Global Creatures issued the following statement. "We have parted ways with director Daniel Kramer and book writer Craig Lucas due to creative differences. Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman has signed on as the book writer and preliminary discussions are underway with several possible directors to take over the project. Once the new team is in place an assessment will be made on a North American production timeline. We will continue to develop the show to ensure the best possible experience for Broadway audiences."

The musical's centerpiece is a one-ton, six-meter-tall silver back gorilla, controlled by a group of puppeteers and aerialists who bring the massive puppet to life on stage.

For the Australian production, composer and arranger Marius de Vries, whose credits include the soundtracks for "Moulin Rouge" and "Romeo + Juliet," created a score that featured revamped versions of 1930s Broadway classics like "Get Happy," "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" as well as new and existing songs from a mix of contemporary artists: Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack, Sarah McLachlan, Justice, Guy Garvey from Elbow and The Avalanches. A key collaborator on the musical landscape for the show is Stephen Pavlovic from Modular People; Michael Mitnick contributed lyrics to several new compositions.

Here's a look at Kong:

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