*Never before has there been such an astounding display of spellbinding, electrifying entertainment on Broadway than the colossal “King Kong.” In the musical at the Broadway Theater in New York, King Kong need not sing. His mere presence is awe inspiring and arresting.
King Kong’s frame and the theatrical optics create an immersive experience that you will not get onscreen in a movie theater. In one scene Kong comes to the edge of the stage.
Those of us sitting in the third row found ourselves cowering in our seats. The sight of such a huge beast hovering over us mortals was daunting. Theatergoers gasped at the sight but reveled in the exhilarating emotions it elicited.
One can safely say the 20-foot high, 2,000-pound gorilla, brought to life by a terrific team of integrated artists and technician, upstages his co-star Ann Darrow. Darrow, played by the gifted and talented Christiani Pitts, has never before been a black actress. In the past that role went to white, blond actresses. This beauty and the beast tale not only breaks tradition with the casting, but that of a helpless captive. Darrow is no damsel in distress but holds her own.
Drew McOniedirects with precision. The exemplary cast include Eric William Morris, Erik Lochtefeld, and Ashley Andrews. And the set designs are extraordinary, prompting eight-year-old theatergoer Quinn McCully to exclaim, “The boat looked so real.”
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