PREVIEW: King Kong meets hip-hop at SummerStage

July 29, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Be assured there will be no giant apes roaming the streets when an innovative play production of King Kong debuts its premiere in Brooklyn this August as part of SummerStage’s lineup. The musical kicks off in Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Herbert Von King Park before moving on to other locations throughout the city.

Written and directed by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner, King Kong is an original musical and comedy spectacle that radically redefines everything you thought you once knew about one of the most iconic love stories of all times.

Set in the “Bronx is Burning” era of the late 1970s, King Kong celebrates the blossoming forms of hip-hop music and graffiti art that grew out of the economically stressed South Bronx and went on to become one of the most powerful, artistic movements in the world.

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Inspired by the film, but “definitely not the stage version,” Preisser and Weiner said the hip-hop themed King Kong deals with a “real theme that represents life in a new way.”

“We were inspired by the myth of King Kong and decided to emphasize and explore the exploitation of African American musical artists [of that time].”

Award winning theatre writer, producer, and director Preisser stated, “In King Kong, [Weiner and I] sought a theatre of rhetoric, bombast, jokes, dance and wrestling, blended with our own personal and idiosyncratic views on the meaning of life. This show follows in the footsteps of our past works together and is made to be enjoyed by all people. It is primal and sophisticated, ridiculous and sublime, irreverent and deadly serious all at the same time.”

King Kong will be Weiner’s inaugural production with SummerStage — largest free performing arts festival — and his first production set in a park.

“The shows that excite me are the ones that create new contexts for audiences and performers to interact,” said acclaimed producer Weiner regarding his decision to participate in the SummerStage Theatre festival. “I grew up in New York City and I love our parks. You do a show for free in the park and you have the chance to bring all different sorts of people together. To me, that’s what New York City is all about.”

With nearly 100 hours invested into rehearsing for this production, the 11 cast members will sing and dance their way into the audience’s hearts as they portray a new twist on the classic story.

The free performances will be open to the public and take place at 8 p.m. each night on Tuesday, July 30, Wednesday, July 31, and Thursday, August 1.

For the most up-to-date scheduling and line-up for all SummerStage programming, visit for more festival information.

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