Friday, 24 August 2012

Coming soon: King Kong

Another musical coming in 2013.

King Kong

Here’s a show that I thought would never, ever be adapted for the stage!

Modern audiences would know the legend of the great ape from the 2005 Peter ‘Lord of the Rings’ Jackson special effects extravaganza, King Kong. If you’re from my generation, though, you’ll remember the wonderfully schlocky 1976 version starring Jessica Lange in the Naomi Watts role. And if you’re a real film buff, you might have seen the 1933 original on late-night TV, starring the gorgeous Fay Wray, the original ‘scream queen’.

The people who brought us the arena spectaculars ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ and ‘How to Tame Your Dragon’ are involved in this production. So, we’re apparently going to be treated to a thirty-foot tall animatronic Kong on-stage! The creative team looks to be quite promising, with the show featuring a book by the writer of the gorgeous The Light in the Piazza, Craig Lucas. Although I’ve not heard any tunes from the show, word on the street is that the score is good and that it will be a mix of 1930s songs and new musical material.

The show has had two workshops, this year and in 2011, so hopefully they’ve ironed out any problems. I’m keeping an open mind about this production, hoping that we might have something unique on our hands. Melbourne has been the testing ground for several debut professional productions in recent years that didn’t quite live up to expectations – ‘Doctor Zhivago’, ‘Moonshadow’ – so fingers crossed this show gets legs. Either way, I think we’re in for a spectacle, as I have the feeling there will also be quite a bit of animation projection for this production, which seems to be part of the current musical theatre zeitgeist.

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