King Kong, the Broadway musical adaptation of Merian C. Cooper’s adventure novel and the sprawling film franchise, celebrated its 300th performance on July 31. The Australian mega-musical, known for the unprecedented puppetry that brings its titular character to life, began performances October 5 at the Broadway Theatre ahead of a November 8 opening.
Directed and choreographed by Olivier winner Drew McOnie, King Kong follows young actor Ann Darrow (Christiani Pitts) and filmmaker Carl Denham (Eric William Morris) as they voyage from 1930s New York to an uncharted island to capture a great, mysterious wonder.
The production fuses state-of-the-art animatronic and robotic technology with a massive, 20-foot marionette puppet controlled by an onstage team of puppeteers to bring Kong to life. King Kong received Tony nominations for Best Sound Design, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. The production was also the recipient of a Special Tony Award for Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company, who helped bring the title character to life through puppetry.
Flip through photos of the celebration below:
The show features a book by Tony and Olivier winner Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and a score by Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice) and Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge, Romeo+Juliet). The production team also includes set and projection designer Peter England, costume designer Roger Kirk, lighting designer Peter Mumford, sound designer Peter Hylenski, aerial and movement director Gavin Robins, and hair designer Tom Watson. David Caddick is music supervisor with casting by Tara Rubin Casting. Johanna McKeon is associate director, and the associate choreographer is Ellenore Scott.
King Kong will conclude its run August 18. When it closes, the musical will have played 29 previews and 324 regular performances. As previously reported, the musical will play Shanghai in 2021; a North American tour and Japanese and Spanish productions are also in development.