Meet the Cast of KING KONG- Now in Previews!
The new musical King Kong begins performances tonight, Friday, October 5 prior to a Thursday, November 8 opening night at the Broadway Theatre.
Based on the 1932 novel, the stage production of King Kong is a contemporary take on the classic tale of beauty and the beast. The story follows a young actress, Ann Darrow, and a maverick filmmaker, Carl Denham, 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: a 20-foot high, 2,000-pound gorilla brought to life by a team of seamlessly integrated artists and technicians. King Kong is a larger-than-life encounter with a legend that's always been too big to contain.
The King Kong ensemble includes Ashley Andrews, Mike Baerga, Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, Chloë Campbell, Leroy Church, Peter Chursin, Jovan Dansberry, Kayla Davion, Rory Donovan, Casey Garvin, Christopher Hampton Grant, Jon Hoche, Gabriel Hyman, Harley Jay. James T. Lane, Marty Lawson, Jonathan Christopher MacMillan (War Horse), 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.
Get to know the cast below as they begin Broadway performances!
Christiani Pitts (Ann Darrow): hails from the original Broadway company of A Bronx Tale, where she played the lead female role of Jane. Regional credits include: Rent, Aida, Big Fish, and Cabaret. TV/Film appearances include: "Elementary," Big Momma's House 3, Like Father Like Son. Christiani holds a BFA from Florida State University.
Eric William Morris (Carl Denham): made his debut in Coram Boy, and went on to play the role of "Sky" in Mamma Mia! on Broadway. He frequently collaborates with composer Joe Iconis, starring in Be More Chill, Things To Ruin and Bloodsong of Love. TV/Film credits include: "Mind Hunter," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Quantico," "Blue Bloods," and the feature film Trust, Greed, Bullets, & Bourbon. Regional/Off- Broadway credits include: Songbird, The Ballad Of Little Jo, The Last Goodbye, Dog & Pony, and Tennessee Williams' Talk to me Like The Rain.... Eric is also a Company Member of ANIMUS, and his play Running Interference (written with Ashley Rodbro) won Best Ensemble at the NYC Fringe (2015) and is currently being developed into a feature-length film.
Erik Lochtefeld (Lumpy): Broadway: Misery, Metamorphoses. Off-Broadway: Primary Stages, Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, MCC, The Pearl, Ars Nova, Women's Project, Public Theater. Regional: Williamstown, Yale Rep, Goodman, Shakespeare Theater, Huntington, Long Wharf, The O'Neill, Hartford Stage, Two River, McCarter, Centerstage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Intiman, Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, Mark Taper Forum. TV/Film: "Madame Secretary," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Law & Order." www.eriklochtefeld.com
Ashley Andrews (Swing / Dance Captain): U.S. credits: Jesus Christ Superstar. Select West End/UK credits: An American in Paris, Wicked, Chicago, Billy Elliot, Jekyll and Hyde, Mack and Mabel. Screen credits: "The Universe" (BBC), "Galavant" (ABC), Avengers: Age of Ultron. Original Member of The McOnie Company.
Mike Baerga (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway: Miss Saigon (Ensemble/Acrobat), Moulin Rouge (Lab). Off-Broadway: The Merry Widow-The Metropolitan Opera, Aida-Houston Grand Opera. Regional: Can-Can, Hunchback of Notre Dame, West Side Story, Kiss Me, Kate. Training: MFA-Dance/NYU, BA-Dance/Comm. University of Houston, Cedar Lake. Love to Mom/Dad and God! Follow me: @MikeBaerga
Rhaamell Burke-Missouri (King's Company / Ensemble): is so excited to be making his debut. Rhaamell would like to thank his #gents #t Bloc for all they have done. He would also like to thank his friends and family for backing him up when times got tough. @RhaamellBurkeMissouri
Chloë Campbell (Ensemble): Proud Londoner. Most recently in the Chicago company of Hamilton. Broadway: Tuck Everlasting. Tour: In The Heights. West End: Mary Poppins, Shoes, Desperately Seeking Susan, On The Town. Thankful for this wonderfully inspiring team! Infinite thanks to my ever-supportive family and husband. Galatians 6:9
Leroy Church (Ensemble): University of the Arts, BFA. Credits: The Lion King North American Tour, Cirque du Soleil, "Smash" (NBC), Jennifer Hudson, "So You Think You Can Dance," L'OREAL Redken, NASCAR Awards, Philadanco, Western Ballet Puerto Rico, Brandywine Ballet, HX Magazine, Vivitrol. Follow: @LeroyChurch
Peter Chursin (Ensemble): Favorites: Jerome Robbins' Broadway (MUNY), Brigadoon (New York City Center), On the Town (Broadway), West Side Story (Broadway, OC), Wicked (1st Nat'l, L.A., Broadway). Twyla Tharp Dance and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Film/TV: Flesh & Bone, "SNL" with Jimmy Fallon, "America's Got Talent" and more!
Jovan Dansberry (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway Debut! TV/Corporate credits: "POSE," The Tony Awards, "SNL," "Dancing With the Stars," MTV, Target, Hermes, and Swarovski. Theatre: Hairspray (DTC), Memphis (Riverside Theatre), Saturday Night Fever (NSMT), as well as several productions at The Metropolitan Opera. Instagram: @jovan_dansberry.
Kayla Davion (Ensemble): Broadway: Waitress (Ensemble, u/s Dawn). TV: "The Good Fight" (Winsome). Special shout-out to my incredible alma mater Ball State University and my dear friends at Waitress. Endless thanks to family and friends. "To God be the Glory!"
Rory Donovan (Ensemble): TV: "Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" on NBC. Broadway: Finding Neverland (Mr. Turpin), Elf (Buddy Standby). Tour: Finding Neverland (Charles Frohman), Young Frankenstein (The Monster). Regional: Shrek (PCLO), Finding Neverland (A.R.T.). Proud UArts Grad. Love and snugs to Katy, Gus and Theo.
Casey Garvin (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway/1st National: Miss Saigon, Disaster! (Jake), Bullets Over Broadway, West Side Story(Diesel, u/s Riff). Off-Broadway/Regional: Bare (Zack), New York City Center Encores!, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Kennedy Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, MUNY, to name a few. Film: Hail, Caesar! @caseygarvin
Christopher Hampton Grant (Swing): a Mississippi boy, is thrilled to make his Broadway debut in King Kong! Recent credits: Apple commercial, "Sway"; Queen of the Night; and Pilobolus Dance Theater. Special thanks to his wife Lauren and family!
Jon Hoche (Voodoo Operator / Ensemble / Kong's Voice): Broadway Debut. Off-Broadway: Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club), Soul Samurai (Ma-Yi Theater), Agent G (Ma-Yi Theater). National Tour: War Horse (National Theatre). Regional:Soft Power (Center Theatre Group), Little Shop of Horrors (Gateway Playhouse). www.JonHoche.com
Gabriel Hyman (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway Debut! Ailey/Fordham University BFA Graduate. Danced with Ailey II. Regional/International: The Prince of Egypt (TheatreWorks SV & Fredericia Teater). TV: ABC's "GMA," HBO's "Succession." To God, family, Tara Rubin, MSA, & the entire King Kong team, much love & gratitude. @GabeHyman
Harley Jay (Ensemble): Broadway: Rent. National Tours: Rent, Miss Saigon. TV/Film: "Grease Live!" on FOX, Fast and Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean. As a recording artist, Harley shared stages with Rick Springfield, Gin Blossoms & Marc Broussard. www.harleyjay.com. Instagram: @iamharleyjay. Twitter: @iamharleyjay. Love my Jayme.
James T. Lane (Ensemble): West End: The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie/Ruby, Young Vic), A Chorus Line (Richie). Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys, Chicago and A Chorus Line. Tours: Jersey Boys, Fame The Musical, Cinderella. Regional: Encores!, The Muny and The Old Globe. Twitter: @JamesTLane
Marty Lawson (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway: How to Succeed..., Promises Promises, Shrek, Cry-Baby, The Times...Changin', Movin? Out (Eddie). TV: "Blue Bloods," "Law and Order SVU," "Smash," "Peter Pan Live," "The Sound of Music Live," Tonys, Emmys, Oscars. Film: Across the Universe, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted 2. Princess Grace Award winner.
Jonathan Christopher MacMillan (Voodoo Operator Swing): Originated the Goose and Topthorn in Lincoln Center's War Horse and was suit captain of Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular. Regional credits include: My Fair Lady, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Mirette, She Loves Me and Into the Woods.
Danny Miller (Voodoo Operator / Ensemble): A Melbourne-based puppeteer and puppet-maker, Danny debuted in the Melbourne premiere season of King Kong. He's since worked on the North American tour of Walking With Dinosaurs, and has just wrapped-up building and performing marionettes for the feature film, Judy and Punch.
Brittany Marcell Monachino (Ensemble): is thrilled to make her Broadway debut! Credits: Philadanco, Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story. Forever grateful to God, my family, Lucille, and the entire King Kong team. Eph 3:20-21
Jennifer Noble (Ensemble): Broadway: Ghost. Nat'l Tours: Kinky Boots, We Will Rock You. Selected Regional: Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyric Opera, Drew McOnie), Limelight (LaJolla), [title of show] (Playhouse Square). Love to Tara Rubin Casting, The Mine, Mom, Dad, Zach, DFG. @thejennoble
Kristen Faith Oei (Swing): Broadway: M Butterfly, The King and I, Spiderman Turn Off the Dark (u/s MJ). Tours: Wicked, We Will Rock You, Aida (u/s Amneris), West Side Story, Fame. Premieres: Soft Power, Kung Fu, In Your Arms. TV: "Mozart in the Jungle." Gratitude & love. Rom8:38-39. @Dragonfly02
Eliza Ohman (Ensemble / Assistant Dance Captain): Broadway/NYC: Hamilton, Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Select TV/Film: Chicago, How You Look At It, "Last Week Tonight," "Saturday Night Live," "The Tonight Show." Commercials: Macy's, Reebok, Target. Endless thanks to Drew, Tara Rubin, & CTG! For Josh. Rom 12:21. @elizaohman
Roberto Olvera (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway debut! War Horse Berlin (Joey), Pilobolus, Momix, Army Reserve. BA Dance from UW-Milwaukee. Midwest native, Chicago-born and Green Bay-raised. Thank you to my family, friends, Kong family and Tara Rubin Casting. www.robertolvera.com @veganbert
Jaquez André Sims (Ensemble): The Chicago native received a BFA from NYU-Tisch. Broadway: Motown (Asst. Dance Captain, Ensemble). 1st National Tour: Matilda (Rudolpho), The Bodyguard (Ensemble, u/s Tony, Devaney). NYC: Encores! Hey, Look Me Over! TV: CBS "Full Frontal" and "Beats by Dre." @justjaquez
Khadija Tariyan (King's Company / Ensemble): is ecstatic to make her Broadway debut in King Kong! Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, her credits include Fuerza Bruta, "The Wiz Live," and "Law and Order SVU." Love to my mother Gayle and my brother Don. Instagram: @kdja030. Twitter: @kdja030.
Jena VanElslander (Swing): An Ontario, Canada Native, Jena is honored to make her BROADWAY DEBUT with this incredible company. World Premieres: Escape To Margaritaville, The Little Prince, HeatWave The Jack Cole Project. Regional: A Chorus Line, Rock of Ages, Zelda: An American Love Story, Footloose, CATS.
Scott Austin Weber (Swing): performed as a principal dancer and acrobat for eight seasons with The Metropolitan Opera. Boadway: M. Butterfly. Film: The Greatest Showman. NYC: Paramour (Macy's Parade), It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman, Encores!, Ballet Trockadero (Principal Dancer). Shout out to the Wilson Sisters.
Jacob Williams (Voodoo Operator / Ensemble / Kong Captain): is an award-winning puppeteer from Melbourne, Australia. He is co-artistic director of Lemony S Puppet Theatre. He was the Principal Puppeteer for the Melbourne premiere of King Kong and starred as T-Rex in the international success Walking With Dinosaurs.
Lauren Yalango-Grant (King's Company / Ensemble): is delighted to make her Broadway debut alongside her husband in King Kong! Credits: Apple's holiday commercial, "Sway"; Fuerza Bruta; Queen of the Night; Pilobolus Dance Theater. She's most thankful for her family!
Warren Yang (Swing): is thrilled to join the cast of King Kong after making his Broadway debut in Miss Saigon. A proud Canadian and former National Team elite gymnast. Instagram: @waryang. Twitter: @waryang.
David Yijae (King's Company / Ensemble): Broadway debut!! National Tour: The Illusionists. Off Broadway: Hip Hop Nutcracker. TV: HBO's "Girls," AGT, BET, MTV. Worked with music artists LL Cool J, Miranda Cosgrove, Rihanna, and Silento. Keep up with David on IG @David.Yijae28, Twitter @DavidYijae. David is represented by MSA.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski