King Kong

King Kong

Officially authorized by the estate of Merian C. Cooper (Creator of "King Kong" and director of the 1933 film), the musical adaptation is based on the novel of the original 1933 screenplay. It features a book by Jack Thorne - the Tony and Olivier Award-winning writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - a score by Marius de Vries - a Grammy Award winner whose previous credits include "La La Land," "Romeo + Juliet," and "Moulin Rouge!" - and songs by Australian Heplmann Award-winning performer Eddie Perfect.

Following its monstrous, thrice-extended world premiere from May 28, 2013 through to February 16, 2014 at the Regent Theatre, in Melbourne, Austrailia, Kong once again returns to the streets of Manhattan, where the production officially opened at the Broadway Theatre on November 8, 2018.

From the opening number, King Kong sets its intentions clear. It is a theatrical spectacle with stunning visuals, courtesy of the gigantic LED screen that merges seemlessly with parts of the set. Director Drew McOnie also sets the tone and pace with relentless choreography that accompanies and accentuates the action as we are introduced to our leading lady, Ann Darrow. She is a modern re-working and no longer the damsel-in-distress we have all grown accustomed to through previous iconic portrayals. She is feisty and fearless and longs to make her mark, belting out her first number "Queen of New York" as if part of a Destiny's Child concert.. And then, later in the show, we finally meet her co-star. Making his grand entrance, initially just the whites of his menacing teeth and eyes are visible in the darkness at the back of the stage, and when Kong strides into the light this six-metre tall, two-tonne, animatronic puppet is truly a great wonder of the world to behold. Operated by around a dozen, ninja-like puppeteers (known as The King’s Company), Kong is a marvel of stagecraft and technology. Kudos to Global Creatures for raising the bar for technical possibilities in live theatre.

Although King Kong is marketed on pure spectacle, there are also some touching moments on stage. Ann's connection to Kong is that of a woman who longs for her voice to be heard and a misunderstood creature who has no voice. Her "Full Moon Lullaby" is a beautiful musical moment that binds two characters together and in later scenes, as Kong sits exploited in chains in the concrete jungle, the emotion in his facial expressions and body language is so surprisingly palpable.

King Kong and New York City go together like a horse and carriage and witnessing Kong run rampage through the streets of Manhattan and scale the Empire State Building in this epic musical is a sight theatre fans will surely never forget. 

(Photos by Joan Marcus / Matthew Murphy)

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Running time: 
2hrs 30mins (including 1 intermission)
24 images
About King Kong:

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 and a maverick filmmaker as they voyage from the bustling streets of 1930s New York to an uncharted island to capture the greatest wonder the world has ever seen. King Kong is a larger-than-life encounter with a legend that’s always been too big to contain.

Book by Jack Thorne, with Music by Marius de Vries
Global Creatures and Roy Furman
Drew McOnie
Songs by:
Eddie Perfect
Peter Mumford
Peter Hylenski
Peter England
Drew McOnie
Roger Kirk
Cast list:
Christiani Pitts (as Ann Darrow), Eric William Morris (as Carl Denham), and Erik Lochtefeld (as Lumpy)
Other info:
Creature designed by Sonny Tilders, Aerial and King Kong Movement Direction by Gavin Robins, Music Supervision by David Caddick, and Hair Design by Tom Watson
King Kong Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
October 5, 2018
Opening date: 
November 8, 2018
August 18, 2019

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Broadway Theatre

1681 Broadway (between West 52nd & 53rd Street), New York, NY 10019
Nearest subway station:
7th Avenue

Latest King Kong News & Features

Christiani Pitts & King Kong
King Kong posts Broadway closure notice
June 26, 2019

One final roar! Producers of the Broadway premiere of King Kong have now posted a closure notice, with the production playing its final performance at the Broadway Theatre on August 18, 2019. Upon closing, the musical will have played a total of 29 previews and 324 regular performances. King Kong is scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2021 and a North American Tour, as well as international productions for Japan and Spain, are all currently in development.

Interview with King Kong director/choreographer Drew McOnie
December 13, 2018

We talk to the Olivier Award-winning rising star from the UK...

Interview with King Kong star Christiani Pitts
November 15, 2018

We sit down with the leading lady of Broadway's mammoth-sized musical...

Christiani Pitts
NYTG at the Opening Night of King Kong on Broadway
November 9, 2018

There is a moment in the new Broadway production of King Kong, which officially opened last night at the Broadway Theatre, where the monstrous, six-metre high puppet, weighing 1.2 tons, approaches the front row of the orchestra from his usual downstage positioning. The gasp from the audience and the sheer scale and enormity of this technological marvel is truly a wonder, if you'll excuse the pun, to behold and I had never experienced a moment like that in a theatre before... period. King Kong(Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Our King Kong Review

King Kong has set a new bar on Broadway. It is a visual feast that does for stagecraft in 2018 what the movie did for filmmaking in 1933 – marks a new era of what’s possible. And it’s not all about the two-thousand-pound gorilla in the room. Although his presence is magnificent, the entire production team has been touched by magic and the marvels start the moment the curtain rises at the... Read more