Matthew Murphy

The monster is the thing in King Kong on Broadway, and everything that isn’t the monster is mere padding until we hear the big hairy one’s teasing, guttural roar—and then finally see him in his thudding flesh. So, what can you make this 20-foot, 2,000 pound, black, hairy creature, magnificently designed by Sonny Tilders, do to command attention for over two hours?

Answer: You tease us with those roars, then you make him appear in the most thrilling way imaginable in the middle of a jungle, then you make him run, then you make him move silkily, then you make him have a fight with a gigantic snake that’s also a puppet. And of course you have him, via Peter England’s stunning projections, eventually run like an angry lunatic through the streets of New York City.

If you have come for spectacle, you’ll love (as I did, with a big, very stupid grin on my face) the impressive and thrilling feats of design and puppetry directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, who I must presume­­—given the exertions of his leading ape­—has a chiropractor on 24-hour call.

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Author: By tim.teeman@thedailybeast.com (Tim Teeman)