Lucas' KING KONG Musical Sets Sights on Broadway
Carmen Pavlovic, C.E.O. of Global Creatures, the company behind the phenomenal world-wide success, Walking with Dinosaurs - the Arena Spectacular, has announced that a creative team has been assembled and work has begun on KING KONG - Live on Stage, an entirely new production conceived for the Broadway stage. KING KONG - Live on Stage is authorized by the estate of Merian C. Cooper (Creator of KING KONG and director of the 1933 film).
KING KONG - Live on Stage is the latest project from the Australian-based Global Creatures, an international entertainment group that develops new and exciting theatrical productions to take to audiences all around the world. Their animatronics arm, The Creature Technology Company invents and deploys the latest in animatronic design. Global Creatures is the company behind the hugely successful Walking with Dinosaurs - the Arena Spectacular, which established a new entertainment genre that has been seen by millions of people and broken box office records in Australia, Europe, Asia and North America since its inception in 2007. Earlier this year, Global Creatures announced a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation to conceive and execute an arena show based on the film How to Train Your Dragon.
To bring KING KONG to the stage, Global Creatures has brought together an award-winning, international creative team highly regarded for their work in theatre and opera.
Directed by Daniel Kramer and written by Tony nominee Craig Lucas with new music by BAFTA winner and Grammy nominee Marius de Vries (who will also arrange the period songs featured in the production), the creative team for KING KONG - Live on Stage also includes Helpmann Award-winner Peter England (Production Design), Sonny Tilders (Creature Design), John O'Connell (Choreography),Tony Award-winner Roger Kirk (Costume Design), Olivier Award-winner Peter Mumford (Lighting Design), Gavin Robins (Aerial/Circus Direction), and Frieder Weiss (Projection Design).
One of the greatest love stories of all time, KING KONG - Live on Stage will feature a cast of more than 40 onstage actors, singers, dancers and puppeteers. The adventure begins in 1933 in New York City at the height of the Depression. The music in KING KONG will feature several new songs by Marius de Vries, who is also writing the incidental musical score, as well as arranging the standards that will be featured in the production.
Producer Carmen Pavlovic said, "At its heart, KING KONG is a love story which is why we have chosen the more intimate space of a proscenium theatre to tell this epic tale. We want to immerse the audience in the emotional journey of the book and music as much as the spectacle of our pioneering animatronics and puppetry.
"We are honored to collaborate with the Merian C. Cooper Estate. Through the input of Cooper's son Richard and daughter Terry we have a lifeline to the heart and mind of the great man and the thinking that informed his iconic creation.
"Cooper's intent was simple - to create a great story about an encounter between a beauty and a beast. However in reviving this story our theatrical challenge is to find something new to say. Kong is about love but it is also about many other things - a fall from grace, community; sacrifice and the consequences of degrading a culture and its environment. These themes are startlingly relevant today and some of what we hope to explore in our re-telling.
"The title and themes of KING KONG are universal, however New York is its spiritual home and therefore it seems fitting that the story is ultimately told there. I wanted a team who could speak to an existing Broadway audience but also respond to the next generation of theatregoers. Our version of KING KONG is an ode to the sweeping romance of the 1930's but it is also very much about today. I was drawn to Daniel Kramer's ability to preserve the classic story yet look at it through a contemporary cultural lens and in that regard there was an immediate meeting of the minds between us.
"We created Global Creatures to develop shows for audiences around the world. KING KONG moves us beyond an arena spectacle and into the realm of a classic musical theatre genre. The show is the next step in a diverse roster of work we have in development. Our workshop process for Kong has been invigorating and as a result it's possible that the production could come to Broadway as soon as 2013. A schedule will be set shortly."
Director Daniel Kramer is best known for his distinguished theatre and opera work in New York and London, including the acclaimed Woyzeck which played at St. Ann's Warehouse and Bluebeard's Castle at the English National Opera.