King Kong – Adapted from the original 1933 film for stage
The setting is 1933, New York. Famed moviemaker Carl Denham is on a last-minute search for a woman to play the leading role in his latest adventure film. His search leads him to a chance meeting with Ann Darrow, a struggling actress who agrees to play the part. They begin the journey from New York Harbor to a previously uncharted place called Skull Island somewhere in Indonesia. There, his team discovers a land of prehistoric dinosaurs where the natives make sacrifices to the giant ape Kong.
50 Dates at 50 Take:
The original 1933 film is adapted to the stage in this unique presentation. The backdrop is in vintage black and white. Kong is presented on a large screen behind the actors, which allows him to be larger than life. The moving background projection is utilized in several ways to add motion that would not otherwise be possible.
In its signature form, Maverick maintains the special effects of the era in convincing form and adds its own brand of humor. This is a welcome, fast-paced performance coming out of COVID-19. It’s full of surprises, laughs, and excellent dialogue. The play was the highlight of my week.
Why You Need to Visit:
The play has two 30-minute acts and an intermission. Director and producer Brian Newell addresses the audience at the beginning, explaining what to expect and what the technical challenges were in making the live production work. The play takes place on two stages: one that the audience sees in front of them and one behind the audience with King Kong. Kong’s stage is projected onto the large screen on the main stage for the actors to interact with. In several instances, the actors also move on- and off-stage and become involved in the Kong projection stage.
The play starts at 8 pm, and you’re done by 9:30, so you’ll need to set up dinner beforehand. You’ll come out in great spirits, which is what fun dates are all about! At the end, you’ll have a chance to pose for pictures in Kong’s jaws and see the second special effects stage where Kong and the backdrops are.
When I attended, the production was a full house. Be aware that you’ll need to provide a picture of your vaccination card and matching ID to enter. You must also wear a mask.