King Kong (NYC)
Closed 2h 25m
King Kong (NYC)
71

King Kong (NYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

71%
(833 Reviews)
Positive
64%
Mixed
26%
Negative
10%
Members say
Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Disappointing, Clever

About the Show

One of the world’s most epic modern myths comes to Broadway in this new musical that employs an innovative mix of robotics, puppet, and stagecraft to bring the legendary ape to life.

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Member Reviews (833)

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60
Impressive gorilla, Meh humans, Loud, Disappointing

See it if you love special effects (lights, sound, projections). Kong is magnificent, but not enuf to save the productn. Still, can see $35m price tag

Don't see it if you want a strg plot, appealing chars, memorable melodies, clever lyrics, charismatic actors, funny lines, etc..you won't find them here.

78
Great staging, Spectacular, Ambitious, Entertaining, Better than the reviews!

See it if You enjoy spectacle over theatre. Jaw dropping staging used to faithfully tell story we all remember from the old movies. Great lighting.

Don't see it if You expect depth or any music that will move you or stay with you after you leave the theatre. This is about Kong. He does not disappoint. Read more

Critic Reviews (67)

The New York Times
November 8th, 2018

"Green: A car wreck of clichés like that simply can’t put a feminist story across meaningfully. Or any story, really — and that’s a bigger problem than the bad score and sluggish 20-foot marionette...Brantley: The story — and the music and the dancing — are basically just filler until Kong shows up again...Brantley: I kept hoping a higher camp factor might kick in...Green: The camp here is all accidental...'Margaritaville,' which until now was my musical theater low point of 2018."
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Time Out New York
November 8th, 2018

"The titular creation is truly impressive: a 20-foot, 2,000-pound animatronic marvel that would be the pride of any amusement-park thrill ride...Yet this very special effect is trapped in a show that is mostly pretty awful. It pads its spectacular attraction in a skeletal, hackneyed story...The truly frustrating thing about 'Kong' is the waste of it all. Why did this story, whose central figure necessarily cannot sing, need to be a musical at all, much less one that suggests a 'Simpsons' parody?"
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 8th, 2018

"King Kong–the–creature is a truly marvelous feat—of design, of engineering, of choreography, of performers and operators and stage managers functioning at bomb-diffusion levels of precision—and 'King Kong'-–the–show is, beyond its spectacle, generic. It’s an amped-up blockbuster with largely forgettable songs, many of the belt-and-inspire variety...What it’s really about is a 2,000-pound puppet and our own desire, as hungry audiences, to see something totally freakin’ awesome."
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New Yorker
November 12th, 2018

“Kong is the show’s true star. He’s huge, muscular, and bottomlessly dark—all black and gray. His hands and feet are operated, in minutest detail, by a small, dancerly army, and his face moves via uncannily precise—and, I’ll admit, touching...There aren’t any instantly classic songs in the show, which makes it unlikely to be a long-lasting item of interest, but it’s fun simply because of Kong’s presence. The audience laughed and gasped...We whooped when he stood to his full height."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 8th, 2018

"Even if the star puppet might be better suited for an arena spectacle or theme-park attraction, you can't take your eyes off this technological marvel, not least for its incredible facial expressiveness...This is a rare time I can honestly say that while 'King Kong' the musical is a wretched mess, I would recommend 'King Kong' the stage spectacle...This is a show in which the songs never feel grounded in story or character, let alone period."
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Entertainment Weekly
November 8th, 2018

"A group of puppeteers, clad in black, are on stage throughout the show, making him move in real time as the story unfolds. Watching them work is fascinating, and the result is an inanimate object that feels alive — his facial expressions, his movements, the chest beating, that roar...If only the musical lived up to its star. Under direction by Drew McOnie, none of the characters or songs are as compelling as the creature."
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Variety
November 8th, 2018

"One thrill ride of a show...The show disappoints in its mishmash of musical styles...You could say Kong has one of the best 11 o’clock numbers around when he approaches the apron of the stage to break through...There’s also more than a few cliches, and a set-up that’s a stretch...But Thorne also makes some smart choices...It’s not just the mammoth Kong that helps carry the show but also Pitts, who plays the marathon role of Ann with infinite resilience and resolve."
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The Wall Street Journal
November 8th, 2018

"The title character is played by a giant puppet designed by Sonny Tilders and manipulated by a team of 10 stalwart operators. Between them, they give us a creature so expressive that he seems to have wandered into the theater from another, vastly better musical...The score and songs, jointly concocted by Marius de Vries and Eddie Perfect, are loud and vapid. Jack Thorne’s book is stupefyingly banal."
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The Observer
November 9th, 2018

“A dismal disaster...Strip away the ropes, cables, wires and pulleys, and what you’ve got is a brain-damaged story about a boy, a girl, and a monkey. The monkey is the only thing you’ll remember...The animatronics engineers are nimble while they manipulate the big ape to make him look real...Too bad they can’t do the same for the actors...This show is so bad that while the plot just stumbles along, you can’t wait for the gorilla to come back.”
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Deadline
November 8th, 2018

"Director Drew McOnie has captured a wildly impressive 1.2-ton puppet, even if the musical surrounding it is considerably less memorable...Kong’s facial expressions – every teeth-baring show of force, each wary look of confused affection, moans of pain – are enchanting, and at least as convincing as any bit of CGI or stop-motion committed to film...The musical numbers certainly won’t keep you from wanting to get to the Kong stuff, which mostly pays off."
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Chicago Tribune
November 8th, 2018

"Alas, a great popular musical needs more than the big daddy of all puppets to deliver a hit show that pounds the heart and licks the bananas of the mind. And the best way to sum up everything wrong with 'King Kong,' it would be that the show created a star worthy of the biggest marquee in Midtown, but not credible or complex characters with whom the titular dude can meaningfully interact, once he is winched down from the heavens."
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Los Angeles Times
November 8th, 2018

"I am terrified of the monstrous concoction that has been cooked up in the international laboratory of mercenary producers eager to remake Broadway in the image of Barnum & Bailey. The best thing about this tourist attraction is Kong himself...'King Kong' doesn’t simply come up short as a stage translation of a landmark horror film. It actually manages to fit around this failure one of the most ludicrous Broadway musicals in recent memory."
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New York Post
November 8th, 2018

"Too bad that most everything else wrapped around this animatronic marvel, onstage for just a quarter of the show, is such a mess...Director Drew McOnie has the dubious distinction of overseeing the overwrought, out-of-place choreography. The show is a study in mood disorder, careening from high drama to even higher camp, to graphic stylized violence and tacked-on, artificial uplift...'King Kong' is less fun than a barrel of monkeys."
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AM New York
November 8th, 2018

"It is just as technically innovative and absolutely ridiculous as you would expect a stage musical adaptation of 'King Kong' to be...Perfect’s pop-style songs are embarrassingly insipid. Far preferable is the background underscoring provided by Marius de Vries. The dialogue is flat...That being said, Kong is a wonder of contemporary stagecraft...Kong (although built out of steel and fiberglass) is a living, feeling creature giving one of the best performances on Broadway."
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NY1
November 8th, 2018

"By musical theatre standards, it falls short. The music, book, choreography — fairly mediocre. But target audiences are likely coming for one thing, and that thing stands mighty tall...The effects are astonishing thanks to an army of handlers who manipulate practically every inch of Kong's 2,400-pound body...Thorne offers a truncated story with structural holes and loose ends. Perfect's pop songs aren't bad, but they feel wedged in and disconnected, almost like a jukebox musical."
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Theatermania
November 8th, 2018

"Say what you will about 'King Kong,' but it's nonstop entertainment, even when it's campier than a giant gorilla at a rave. It's actually impressive how book writer Jack Thorne managed to take an already ridiculous story and make it goofier through halfhearted feints at social relevance...Gavin Robins has masterfully directed an immediate team of 10 puppeteers who surround Kong...In a story devoid of heroes, these fearless performers come the closest."
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BroadwayWorld
November 9th, 2018

“Don't expect the music, nor the book nor the lyrics for that matter, of the ineptly pieced-together musical that just limped onto Broadway...to summon up anything resembling an honest emotion...Symbolic of little more than the foolhardiness of putting stage spectacle above good writing...Though loaded with flat, stilted dialogue, the biggest mistake of Thorne's book is to take away the tragic aspects of the film's two main characters, sapping them of empathy.”
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Lighting & Sound America
November 19th, 2018

"When Kong dominates the stage, or when he shares a scene with Christiani Pitts as Ann Darrow, the show's heroine, theatre magic is made. The ape's first appearance is a moment of pure excitement...The entire design/technology side of the production is a major achievement...About the rest of 'King Kong,' however, I have a few questions...You can't say 'King Kong' is a good musical, but it is a fascinating oddity."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 8th, 2018

"The great ape is magnificent...Indeed, all of the design elements, from the inventive use of projections, the curvature of the set, the sound, the lighting, even the scrims, contribute to the overall effect. If this is what you are looking for, then by all means pick up a ticket and head on out...One big question is, why turn this perfectly good story into a musical, especially when the songs and the dancing do precious little to elucidate the goings-on?"
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New York Stage Review
November 8th, 2018

"This gigantuous puppet is impressively designed and altogether versatile...But this is a Broadway musical, and the stuffed gorilla—which, once it finally appears late in the first act, has far more stage time than most of the Equity members—does not sing or talk. Or dance, even...We apologize if we’ve slighted the contributions of songwriters Marius de Vries and Eddie Perfect, and bookwriter Jack Thorne. But then, their collective contributions slight the show to the vanishing point."
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New York Stage Review
November 8th, 2018

"Perfect’s songs are mostly forgettable; at best they function as vehicles for the whirlwind production numbers...Thorne’s record of intelligent, nuanced, morally complex work suggests that his contributions may have been, like Kong, diminished by the forces of commerce...If technical wizardry is what you’re after—and you can withstand watching a magnificent beast endure repeated, extravagant physical and emotional abuse—'King Kong' may be just the ticket."
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Broadway News
November 8th, 2018

"Remove the big, strangely beautiful beast from the show, and the musical would collapse from its own weightlessness. The human characters would be swallowed up by the (admittedly spectacular) scenery...One of the show’s highlights — really, the only one other than the titular creature — is the work of set and projections designer Peter England...But it’s only when King Kong makes his entrance that 'King Kong' inspires anything other than mild tedium."
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TheaterScene.net
November 20th, 2018

"True, 'King Kong,' aside from its technical achievements-more of that below-probably won't wind up in theater history books as a major artistic advance, but it still has a lot to offer. It's no 'Dear Evan Hansen' or 'The Band's Visit' -two recent American musicals of high quality- and doesn't claim to be, but it's as entertaining as 'Head Over Heels' (if less tawdry) and 'The Prom' (if very much less show-bizzy self-referential)."
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Theatre is Easy
November 9th, 2018

“An engrossing story about authentic relationships and a Broadway spectacle with impressive special effects...This ‘King Kong’ adds some interesting tweaks, ones that are empowering to Ann. And the special effects are breathtaking...This version has less cultural baggage...There are no ‘savage’ tribes nor is there the implicit racism in the Kong-Ann dynamic...A big step forward for empathy, for women’s empowerment, and for technical accomplishments in puppetry.”
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Theater Pizzazz
November 8th, 2018

"This is the underlying strength of the production: The extreme ability of the creator and well-trained handlers to actually elicit a sense of emotion through a puppet and with a message...Christiani Pitts is a highly energized spitfire with a soaring voice and the huge cast is remarkable...Maybe it’s just good to have an old iconic story unite with a more contemporary touch and as a reminder at a time when kindness, caring, and gentility should be at the forefront of everyone’s agenda."
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CurtainUp
November 8th, 2018

"De Vries' ponderous score is a mish-mash of styles but it does have its moments, Perfect's songs are tuneful but hardly memorable; neither do they do much to further the story...The effort to extend Kong's long symbolic parallels to racism, slavery and colonialism to our current society's endorsement of racism and greed feels forced and clunky, whereas the presentation of the giant marionette puppet is amazingly original and genuinely entertaining."
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Front Row Center
November 16th, 2018

“A visual feast...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 when the curtain rises...Unfortunately, the story is identical to the original movie and is still as weak and ridiculous...There’s a very endearing big gorilla with sad, expressive eyes who I guarantee you will fall in love with. And there’s amazing, innovative stagecraft. And that’s enough for me.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
November 19th, 2018

"There are tremendous failures within the show, and although the mechanics astound, the overall journey, as directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie is a shipwreck, leaving us slightly stunned and slack-jawed, washed up on the shore saddened by the destruction around us...The music, lyrics, and story, in general are far from perfect, descending into something surprisingly flat footed...When King Kong arrives, we rejoice, as we are finally given a reason to pay attention."
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T
November 26th, 2018

"Mr. Thorne has written the weakest part of the collaboration, but with all due respect it truly does not diminish the effort put forth since nothing new has been exposed since the original story and at its worst, some sequences are just frivolous and unnecessary...It is not a negative comment to admit that this incredible creature really does steal the show. This is an unprecedented spectacular event that is worthy of a Broadway stage."
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New York Theater
November 15th, 2018

"If this 'King Kong' resists camp, there are several savory moments of meta-theatrical wit...The songs by Eddie Perfect are an appealing, eclectic mix of jazz, Broadway ballad and pop, brought home by a talented ensemble executing some some catchy if standard Broadway choreography...Perfect’s songs are perfectly adequate, but I’ll go further: They are the right fit...The effort to bring that puppet to life is extraordinary, unprecedented, and the payoff is glorious."
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Broadway Blog
November 9th, 2018

“’King Kong’s’ greatest accomplishment is in its most intimate moments when we can revel in the animatronic wonder of Kong’s facial expressions. Those larger-than-life sad eyes will melt your heart, a reminder of what King Kong has long represented...racism and oppression. But when Kong has to run...no amount of technology or actors can...make it believable. Instead, he lumbers along, as if he’s stumbled out of Rudy’s dive bar...after one too many...wishing, like us, that this was all a dream.”
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C
November 8th, 2018

"The more time Kong spends on the stage (and it's ultimately too much), the less scary he feels. Instead, one comes to realize the show's creators are trying way too hard to terrify you through something that belongs in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, or better yet a theme park in Orlando -- and helped even less in its mission by the fact that its human handlers are so obviously visible."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
November 28th, 2018

"Lacks a memorable score, dramatic intensity, and grippingly engrossing characters. For a show based on 'the greatest horror film of all time,' its fright threshold is not much greater than a kid…at Halloween…The visual elements are so seamlessly integrated with the physical staging that they often inspire a visceral response…The ape never transcends its artificial existence to represent anything approaching a threatening presence."
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4Columns
November 9th, 2018

"Playwright Jack Thorne has rejiggered the tale in the musical...but its old bones are in place...Every now and then, people break into Perfect’s songs, which are both vacuous and risibly on the nose...Yet in the center of all this embarrassment is something deeply, even primally impressive...Kong’s entrance is the best thing in the show...We see how ridiculous it is to do a crummy musical next to something so big, so true, so magnificent."
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The Guardian (UK)
November 8th, 2018

"As a feat of stagecraft and structural engineering, 'Kong' is cool...A clumsy retread of the 1933 movie though now with a less coded racism, less coded rape and fewer anxieties about the tension between primitivism and modernity. What’s left? A show that makes breathlessly little sense and is rarely even fun...If 'King Kong' is an allegory of the havoc that ensues when you give a star subpar material, well done. Otherwise it’s a one-ton cockup."
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The Clyde Fitch Report
November 8th, 2018

"It’s strongest elements include the larger-than-life puppet. There’s also good work by scenic and projection designer Peter England, costume designer Peter Mumford, lighting designer Peter Hylenski, aerial and Kong movement director Gavin Robins, and Artist in Motion is credited with video and projection imaging. Together they will convince patrons that they’re getting their money’s worth...But writing? Acting? Directing? Thorne takes liberties with the plot that don’t pay off."
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The Wrap
November 8th, 2018

"That he’s a puppet only makes his performance all the more riveting. But he/it has an advantage over the human actors on stage. Kong doesn’t sing one song composed by Eddie Perfect or utter one word written by Jack Thorne...As designed by Sonny Tilders, Kong is a genuine marvel that requires no fewer than 10 people to operate its limbs, torso and, most amazingly, facial features...Whenever the story line lags, which is most of the time, your attention goes to those 10 puppeteers."
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Stage Left
December 4th, 2018

“The topline takeaway of ‘King Kong’...is the dazzling stagecraft...What this show irrefutably nails is the scale and scope of its stagecraft...What it clearly misses is a show strong enough to support that stagecraft, and any critical depth or address of 85 years of discussion about the meaning of its source material...The attempt, by this all male-creative team, to remake Ann as a feminist icon is as transparent as it is poorly executed.”
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Daily Beast
November 8th, 2018

"The problem with 'King Kong' is that the humans on stage do not know what to do when King Kong is elsewhere, and the production doesn’t know what to do with them either...As pure spectacle, 'King Kong' thrillingly delivers. The songs are fine rather than memorable and the story simple and fluent rather than dense and chewy. But really, neither has to do much more. This is all about the hulking, crouching, flying, not-very-hidden King Kong­—and the ape has totally got this."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
November 15th, 2018

"This adaptation...makes some anachronistic updates to the format and plot, the characters, and their motivations, rendering them largely unlikable and heartless opportunists...The best moments in the production are when Kong takes the stage...Unfortunately the show’s cross-temporal music and choreography present an inconsistent jumble of period styles and errant references that contribute little to the story or justify its production as a musical."
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Financial Times (UK)
November 8th, 2018

"What’s missing is the dark heart of the film, which blended a perverse, multi-sided love story with a racially charged allegory of colonial exploitation. Thorne has stripped away that complexity...Even Kong ultimately disappoints. Despite a surfeit of technical ingenuity, the beast seems lumbering and lacking in vigour...McOnie’s staging at least keeps things chugging along at a reasonably brisk tempo."
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City Cabaret
December 19th, 2018

“While the gorilla himself is fantastic, the musical is hardly razzle-dazzle. A giant of stagecraft and puppetry, ‘King Kong’ is the star in this spectacle...As a largely sung-through musical, ‘King Kong’ disappoints with colorless songs and repetitive dashes of hip-hop and athletic jitterbug...Pitts and Morris are capable, if not memorable in their sketchy roles...both fine singers. Watching the gorilla, however, is the wonder of this show and with the technology, Kong is the only star.”
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T
November 18th, 2018

“It isn’t beauty that kills the beast in the Broadway bust ‘King Kong’; it’s the music, lyrics, and story that lack the charm to soothe this savage breast...’King Kong’ himself is spectacular...Unfortunately, the rest of the show is a hot mess. The songs...lack any kind of nuance...The direction and choreography is often head-scratchingly absurd...Thorne’s book puts too much of the focus on Darrow...resulting in yet another tired musical about a poor country girl desperate to make it big."
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M
November 17th, 2018

“The 20-foot-tall animatronic puppet of Kong is indeed a gasp-inducing marvel, but there’s plenty to admire elsewhere...Thorne’s script works hard at developing the tale’s mythic qualities...The orchestral scoring are richly ear-filling, heightening the mood and excitement at just about every turn...McOnie masterfully pulls all the elements together into one coherent and affecting piece of musical theatre storytelling...It’s a boldly conceived, legitimate piece of musical theatre.”
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O
November 15th, 2018

“The musical is lavishly produced...The first musical number...is vigorous—brilliantly executed by an excellent company—and exciting to watch even though it has little to do with the ‘30s, NY, or the plot...The visual elements and the remarkable puppetry that went into creating King Kong himself are what make this clunky musical at least interesting. It isn’t memorable, but it goes down easily...Don’t bring small kiddies though – the King’s roar is terrifying."
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scribicide
November 14th, 2018

"Anyone complaining about the music in 'King Kong' is missing the point...Some of the most impressive stagecraft I have seen in years. At twenty feet and two thousand pounds, Kong is massive, towering over the stage while still registering subtle fluctuations in emotion through his brow, his nose, his upper lip. Of course, he roars, too, and thunderously so, but it's the level of detail at such a large scale that is most breathtaking."
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NewNowNext.com
November 12th, 2018

"Mixes remarkable wizardry with musical theater imperfection, though it’s way better than most of the pretentious critics are letting on...The sets and projections by Peter England are darkly splashy, though the score doesn’t always soar and some dullness sets in before the ape appears. But then he does!...Take this for what it is—a tourist-friendly spectacle with some memorable monkey business."
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Newsday
November 8th, 2018

"As grand spectacle, 'King Kong' is the real deal, the heart-stopping special effects beyond expectations...This is truly next-gen puppetry, as the actors known as the King Company, in ninja mode, breathe life into this hunk of steel and Fiberglass. But when Kong leaves the stage, so does the energy...Director-choreographer Drew McOnie and songwriters Eddie Perfect and Marius de Vries muddy the waters with numbers that seem out of place and are at times downright confusing."
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NJ.com
November 8th, 2018

"If you’re going to make a Broadway spectacle of 'King Kong,' you better have an impressive monkey -- and on that count, the new 'King Kong' musical delivers, at least somewhat...As to whether we ever forget that we’re watching an enormous manmade contraption — or whether we ever feel fully transported to his lair on the mysterious Skull Island — that’s another matter...Every time the characters start singing and dancing, it just seems discordant and pell-mell."
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The Stage (UK)
November 8th, 2018

"Though the ape is great the score is wan and the plot a head-scratcher making for an incoherent theatrical experience...The human side of the story struggles to measure up...McOnie’s choreography makes use of a hulking upper-body dance language that feels ultra-contemporary and is also at odds with the 1931 setting...If this 'King Kong' was over-the-top in a campy way, all this might not matter as much. Instead it feels painfully sincere. Only the ape’s expressive presence rescues it."
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W
November 18th, 2018

“The puppet is amazing...It conveys so much emotion with its face and body...In fact, much more nuance than its human companions. That's because something key is missing in the rest of this musical. Heart. Also, purpose. And passion...The book is lifeless, the lyrics are lackluster and the music is forgettable. There is no dramatic tension...There are only theme park thrills...Theater needs something more in order to be successful."
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The Telegraph (UK)
November 9th, 2018

"The plot is much like the classic 1933 film...But don’t expect any of the magic that won Thorne awards for bringing JK Rowling’s popular characters to the stage: Carl and Ann become stock figures once he persuades her to sail with him to a remote island where the great ape kidnaps her...Many unmemorable songs...It takes 40 minutes for Kong to make his dramatic entrance. When he does, he’s a feast for the eyes, but his appearances also slow the dramatic momentum."
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StageZine
November 14th, 2018

“Can’t act, can’t sing, and can’t dance...Not because they don’t have the capabilities; they just don’t have the material...Anyone who has seen the original...would have the intelligence to know there is no way to adapt this genre into a musical format for the stage...I give the show one star not because anything in it merited that high a score but for those soulful eyes of Kong himself. He is amazingly constructed and the best thing about the show...This show is his ultimate humiliation.”
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Off Script with Dan Dwyer
November 30th, 2018

“’King Kong’ has no reason to be a musical. It’s more like a two and half hour theme park attraction. Kong as gigantic, animatronic puppet is the star. All else seems like an excuse for a staged version of the classic film...A bare-bones adaptation of the well-known tale...Depicting Ann as victim as much as Kong, so we get a good, contemporary dose of women’s empowerment. But that’s as deep as this character gets...The musical that needn’t be."
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Show Showdown
December 2nd, 2018

"Spectacle certainly dominates the stage version of 'King Kong,' which may not be the most well-balanced or wholly satisfying production, but is not without its pleasures and small victories. I appreciate the production for trying to rid the plot of at least some of its most offensive parts...If you are solely interested in watching the puppet, and go to see 'King Kong' with no other expectations at all, I suspect you won't be disappointed. But heat? Conflict? Tension? Emotion? Forget it."
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Philadelphia Inquirer
November 9th, 2018

"A knockout of a show, managing to move us to sympathy, scare us, and dazzle us with stagecraft all at once. To praise the show as a 'musical' might be a slight exaggeration, since the songs aren’t much good — neither tuneful nor interesting — and the singers and dancers are only adequate. Which leaves us with the star of the show, King Kong, a stunning example of 'extreme puppetry'...I imagine that there will be those who scoff, but I had too much fun.”
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On Stage Blog
November 19th, 2018

“Kennedy: They were successful in making Kong into a real character, a performer in the show...Leininger: You get a rush of adrenaline when you see him move so fluidly...Kennedy: The show was technically masterful...Kennedy: The effects were amazing...Leininger: The music is forgettable."
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W
November 13th, 2018

"I LOVE King Kong. Not the musical, mind you, but the articulated title character...The astounding puppeteers work out in the open, making many of the creature's moves in plain sight…They convey tenderness and fury that amazes. If I could watch them bring this giant puppet to life for two and a half hours I would be perfectly happy…The score is lackluster and the attempts to give agency to the lead female falls flat and whenever King Kong is not on stage we miss the energy."
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P
November 11th, 2018

“Stagecraft is king in 'Kong.' ‘Dramatic’ doesn’t even come close to conveying the startlingly original complexity of the rich visuals...And then there’s the Monster...Killer spectacle outshines wimpy dialogue that could use more linguistic rhythm and richness of wit...Despite its problems with dialogue, songs, lyrics, and details like the humanity issue, ‘King Kong’ is appealing and sometimes outstanding. I wouldn’t want to miss it.”
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W
November 20th, 2018

"The effects are spectacular, but as theater the show is a complete mess...Sadly, all this technical wizardry is squandered by the creators who seem to think special effects can touch the heart as well as does an effective story well-told...Rarely does the play hold your interest...The songs are forgettable...Despite all the things that are wrong with the show, I would not insist it be ignored...If you like dazzle, flash and theme parks – you might have a good time.”
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JK's Theatre Scene
November 9th, 2018

"For sheer entertainment value, 'King Kong' would get an A+ from me. It is exciting, thrilling, funny, and even a little scary. And that ape. Wow!...As a musical, it is both lacking and way too much...Thorne's book is both well-done and silly...The bottom line is I found myself both laughing with it and laughing at it. That said, there's much to appreciate here...Director Drew McOnie creates some truly spectacular stage pictures."
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Limelight Magazine (AU)
November 8th, 2018

"McOnie has done a remarkable job staging this blockbuster. The movement, in theory his specialty, is deeply rooted in character and frequently thrilling...And the monkey? Well, he’s as impressive as he ever was – perhaps even more so...Jack Thorne‘s dialogue is convincingly written – or as convincing as dialogue can be in a tale that demands a sizeable suspension of disbelief."
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S
November 8th, 2018

"The two-story, two-ton puppet star is a fearsome marvel...Generally speaking, when the ape’s onstage, flirting with his new friend Ann or battling a sickly snake, 'King Kong' rules. When he’s not, it’s a very occasionally inspired musical about a plucky star to be trying to make it in New York in the Depression. Director-choreographer Drew McOnie’s staging tends to clutter the production numbers."
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M
November 8th, 2018

"If this was an attraction at a theme park, I'd give it five stars. Unfortunately, it's a Broadway musical, not the latest from Universal. And while Kong the beast is magnificent, the show certainly isn't. The musical kicks off on the wrong foot almost immediately, with a ho-hum opening number that seems to throw a lot at the wall just to see what sticks...There are other inexplicable choices made by director/choreographer Drew McOnie and the production team."
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Florida Theater On Stage
November 9th, 2018

"'King Kong' is amazing, both the creature and the show. Its flaws and shortcomings as a musical are impossible to ignore, but as spectacle and entertainment, only someone who revels in dissing whatever is popular would deny that 'King Kong' is a jaw-dropping experience...This is not a E-ticket thrill ride, but a fine work of theatrical stagecraft and skill...The acting, directing, and the script...all are very much 21st Century...It just clashes distractingly with the time period."
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The Artswire Weekly
November 8th, 2018

"King Kong is amazing. The puppet that is. It's a mouth dropping wonder, one that comes to life right in front of you and shows more emotions and nuance than the entire cast...McOnie has pieced this epic show together with such a breakneck speed that you would think perhaps the fast-paced plot is because the world is ending...The dance style is all over the place, as is the very bad score...Yes, there's a lot of missteps...But there are some shining moments...See it for the spectacle."
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Rolling Stone
November 9th, 2018

“’King Kong’ doesn’t disappoint. Except when it does...This musical’s songs and lyrics never truly inspire, partly because there’s no need for it to be a musical. The only character who really has anything of value to express is the titular star...The show fails when it attempts to do too much — just let the magic happen, don’t mess it up with too much techno wizardry...At least during the curtain call, we get another glimpse of this wondrous creature. That’s all we wanted anyway."
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