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Broadway Goes Bananas for King Kong on Opening Night

Christiani Pitts, Eric William Morris, and Erik Lochtefeld star in this new musical at the Broadway Theatre.

Kong roars during his opening-night bow.
(© David Gordon)

Broadway's King Kong celebrated its opening on November 8 at the Broadway Theatre.

The stage production of King Kong is a contemporary take on the classic tale of beauty and the beast. The story follows a young actor, Ann Darrow (Christiani Pitts), and a maverick filmmaker, Carl Denham (Eric William Morris), as they voyage from the bustling streets of 1930s New York to an uncharted island to capture the world's greatest wonder. At the center of this 21st-century reimagining is a 20-foot-tall, 2,000-pound gorilla brought to life by a team of artists and technicians, blending robotics, puppetry, and stagecraft.

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The company is also led by Erik Lochtefeld as Lumpy, as well as Ashley Andrews, Mike Baerga, Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, Chloë Campbell, Leroy Church, Peter Chursin, Jōvan Dansberry, Kayla Davion, Rory Donovan, Casey Garvin, Christopher Hampton Grant, Jon Hoche, Gabriel Hyman, Harley Jay, James T. Lane, Marty Lawson, Jonathan Christopher MacMillan, Danny Miller, Brittany Marcell Monachino, Jennifer Noble, Kristen Faith Oei, Eliza Ohman, Roberto Olvera, Jaquez André Sims, Khadija Tariyan, Jena VanElslander, Scott Austin Weber, Jacob Williams, Lauren Yalango-Grant, Warren Yang, and David Yijae.

King Kong features a book by Tony Award winner Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), a score by Marius de Vries (La La Land, Moulin Rouge), and songs by Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice). Drew McOnie directs and choreographs, with Sonny Tilders creating the Kong creature. The creative team also includes Peter England (set and projection design), Roger Kirk (costume design), Peter Mumford (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Gavin Robins (aerial and puppetry movement director), and Tom Watson (hair design). David Caddick is music supervisor and orchestrations are by Christopher Jahnke.

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