Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Sunday, June 16, 2013

King Kong: The Musical Opens to Rave Reviews in Australia

Filed under: Performing Arts — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 15:13


King Kong: The Musical officially opened at Melbourne’s Regent Theater (the same theater where Andrew Lloyd Webber’s magnificent restaging of the Phantom sequel Love Never Dies ran about 2 years ago) last night and the critics are absolutely raving about the production! Aussie theater critic Anne-Marie Peard calls Kong’s entrance “The most spectacular thing ever seen on a live stage” and goes on to claim the show as “gorgeous and unforgettable.” Cameron Woodhead of The Age tags the show as “massive and magical” and ensures it will “leave a colossal footprint” and that it is “mind blowing.”

Australian Stages‘ Vito Mattarelli calls the production “Epic and operatic in scale.” The show itself has been in production for over 5 years as the gigantic 6-meter tall animatronic ape puppet was perfected by Global Creatures (the same team behind the impressive puppets used in the Tony Award winning play War Horse). The show boasts over 70 stagehands and crew members; Kong himself is operated by 13 different puppeteers who use a variety of cables and weight balance techniques to bring him to life. The actors of the production, who worked tirelessly through 5 months of rehearsal (!) are also being praised by critics; Matarelli claimed that as the main lead Esther Hannaford “easily came off best.”

There are plans to bring the show to Broadway. Although any definitive plans have yet to be announced. Currently, tickets for the Melbourne production are on-sale through July 27th. Take a look at the video below highlighting two of the show’s spectacular numbers:

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