Out swings Spider-Man, and in swings a giant monkey puppet?
King Kong, a musical spectacle that premiered in June 2013 in Melbourne, Australia, will reportedly go ape on Broadway this December at the Foxwoods Theatre, where the big-budget Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark shuttered earlier this month, according to The New York Times. However, in a statement to EW, producers of King Kong said: “Plans for the Broadway production of King Kong are not confirmed at this time. We hope to have details about the future of the show shortly.”
It’s long been expected that Kong would follow Spidey into the Foxwoods, and the Times reports that producer Gerry Ryan of Global Creatures, the company behind King Kong and other puppet-heavy shows like Walking With Dinosaurs, War Horse, and How to Train Your Dragon, broke the news of the Broadway transfer himself on a Melbourne radio show last Friday.
After opening last summer, King Kong extended four times during the season at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, where it will finally end its run on Feb. 16. The show boasts music by Marius de Vries, lyrics by Michael Mitnick, and a book by Craig Lucas, as well as additional songs by Sarah McLachlan, Justice, 3D, Guy Garvey, and The Avalanches and period standards like “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” and “Get Happy.” Despite Kong’s many adaptations over the years, the musical is based on the original 1933 film’s story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace.
King Kong received relatively mixed reviews, though critics praised the show’s impressive special effects. The big draw here is the 20-foot-tall, 1.1-ton Kong puppet, built by creature designer Sonny Tilders of steel, aluminum, lycra, and latex. The giant creature is operated onstage by 10 circus artists, plus a crew of puppeteers working off stage. The Aussie production also includes a 50-member ensemble. See the puppet in action below: