The new production of King Kong, which opened at the Broadway Theatre on Nov. 8, isn’t your ordinary musical. While it features energic numbers, in this show, it’s all about the ape. By ape, I mean the 20 foot-tall, 2000 pound animatronic gorilla lead around by a crew of puppeteers clad in black. It’s certainly something to behold. The plot, a revision of the 1933 film classic starring Fey Wray, revolves around struggling actress Ann (Christiani Pitts), who meets up with a film director who takes her on an ill-fated voyage to Skull Island, where they encounter the titular ape. Ann is less a victim in the play than in the movie and scores some feminist points along the way.


But the scenes that deliver are all ones involving the King himself. An impressive feat of artistry and engineering, this Kong makes the whole show worthwhile as a pure spectacle. With a book by Jack Throne (Harry Potter And The Cursed Child) and Marius de Vries (La La Land), King Kong certainly has a distinguished pedigree. But the story and music are overwhelmed by the magnificence of the ape. It may not satisfy Broadway purists, but those with open minds will hail this beast.

King Kong is now play at the Broadway Theater (1681 Broadway, New York, N.Y.).