The April 27 matinee performance of King Kong was canceled mid-show after a mechanical problem in the first act. Though performers were on stage during the scene (in which Kong battles a giant cobra), none were injured in the incident, according to representatives for the production.
"A piece of the machinery that runs Kong is not functioning," production stage manager Kathleen E. Purvis explained to the audience from the stage. "So we can't do King Kong without King Kong, right?"
As the issue could not be immediately fixed, audience members were offered refunds and exchanges. The evening performance will go on as scheduled.
The title giant ape comes to life with the help of a team of puppeteers who operate a twenty-foot, 2000-pound puppet designed by Sonny Tilders. Gavin Robins serves as movement director, guiding the motions that allow Kong to scale buildings, pound his chest, fight aforementioned cobra, and more.
The team was recently announced to receive a Special Achievement Award at the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Awards.
The cast is led by Christiani Pitts as Ann Darrow and Eric William Morris as Carl Denham. The Drew McOnie-directed production opened in November last year.