Target Margin's world premiere is a subversive dark comedy that reimagines the making of the classic 1933 film King Kong. More…
"The Making of King Kong" is a theatrical journey into the cultural monster behind the myth. The play takes a brutal look at America’s history of white patriarchy, imperialism, and sexism through the eyes of original King Kong creators Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, and Hollywood starlet Fay Wray.
"To be clear, what Lisa Clair has placed before her audience is no blatantly academic study...'The Making of King Kong' itself teeters in and out of pure insanity, absurdism and pointlessness, irony and sarcasm, like a vaudeville show on an acid trip or a cabinet of horrifying curiosities...Claire, though wrapped in the scrappy, eccentric volatility of experimental theater, is a challenging and provoking playwright, smart and admirably critical—hilarious, too." Full Review
“None of the previous versions have a song remotely like ‘King Kong Plays Ping Pong With His Ding Dong.' That alone is reason to revisit Skull Island...One of director Eugene Ma’s many fine touches is having the actors perform in front of a movie screen projecting the same scene/dialogue delightfully out-of-sync...An enjoyable look at an iconic movie. It also asks and answers some of the many questions the film raises without Hollywood or Broadway pretensions.” Full Review
“A ‘fantasia’ of a play that interrogates the original film through a feminist, intersectional lens...Clair’s play has the exuberant, outsider feeling of a graduate school thesis project, bursting with intelligent ideas, surprises at every turn, and playful experimentation with form that make it exciting to engage with, but just a tad too manic and unfocused for its own good...’The Making of King Kong’ is really an argument for the negation of the Kong narrative itself.” Full Review
"All of the gender and racial ickiness of the film is brought to the fore...Pope does a terrific job of keeping the satire afloat..Her mockery, deeply sincere, allows the character to comment on gender and racial stereotypes while indulging them for comedy. 'King Kong' lacks that tonal control...The result is a bit of an ideological free-for-all, with no clear upshot. Ms. Clair certainly raises the relevant issues but then seems uncertain how to corral them." Full Review
"'The Making of King Kong' has an editing problem...The ragged edges provides some immediate pleasures...But silliness isn’t the only thing that Clair and her director, Eugene Ma, are going for...The shift in attention from Kong to the White Yoga Ladies is a big, confident gesture that hasn’t quite been worked out, and what must have felt immediate and stinging during the devising process seems, already, a little out of date." Full Review
“An ambitious piece...There are shining moments, and some major talent...As the play moves forward...The social commentary becomes heavy-handed to the point that it is difficult to see the play around it...The overt bludgeoning of the central theme becomes tedious...The aesthetic and conceit of the play are engrossing, which compensates a bit for the overwrought components...Perhaps with a bit of time, the potential to be something singular could be reached.” Full Review
See it if Target Margin's revisionist look at the iconic movie & myth behind it Equal parts comic satire & critical appraisal it's viewpoint is murky
Don't see it if While the vintage movie opening is both clever & necessary, it hinders the pace & perspective The first-rate Molly Pope feels underused
See it if You like a clever, fun, silly and topical romp through today's PC tropes overlaying clearly dated material.
Don't see it if If you seek a well thought-out deconstruction of King Kong and cringe at self-seriousness.
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