Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ten Times As Big As A Man.

I went to see the musical production of King Kong last week. Now I shoould point out that I'm not a fan of musicals - at least modern musicals. I quite like Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror, Jungle Book and musicals from the 50s. But modern musicals leave me cold.

Many years ago I sat through The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera in the name of romance, and while it wasn't exactly suffering, I certainly didn't enjoy them. Being a drama major means I've studied theatre quite a bit, and I've even produced high school musicals. As such I was at least able to appreciate these two shows and I could see why others loved them. They just weren't my cups of tea.

King Kong was awful.

The narrative was confused, as was the musical direction. Pointless and forgettable songs were inserted simply to get into the show with little connection to the narrative. Audience members had to guess what had happened, how events had unfolded, why scenes had jumped so much. People around me were scratching their heads, and by the second half even the polite applause after each song had disappeared.

Oh, except for the gorilla. That was unbelieveable. It was fabulous to see, brilliant puppetry and control. Technically, a brilliant show.

But I think the entire experience is best summed up by a voice I heard from nearby during the first half. "Come on. Skip this crap and bring out the monkey."

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