Adam Hahn as the show's playwright took the original King Kong film and brought a clever and sarcastic point of view of how the saga of Kong unfolded. He took some moments and made them broad with strong interaction between characters and audience and came up with cleverly written monologues.
JR Esposito, playing film director Carl Denham, gives an amazing rendition of the 1930’s director whose ambition is to cinematically capture the beast on film. JR is quick, sharp and has an incredibly forceful and funny presence throughout.
As such is the passionate ditsy blonde-like performance of Sara Kubida as Anne Darrow who is more than a little ‘light’ headed but has an important message about Kong’s perspective. Just as determined is the seaman Jack Driscoll played by the slightly neurotic Eric Curtis Johnson. Eric and Sara play off each other well as they develop an awkward but funny relationship.
David Caprita plays a stern, determined but hysterically dry Captain Englehorn who commands his crew with gusto. His crew played by Nathan Wellman and Samantha Macher also double as audience members with questions for the anthropologist. Both Kareem Cervantes and Zelika Chante make obedient tribes people but also Kareem is the T-Rex that attacks Kong and Zelika doubles as the assistant stage manager too!
Yes, the anthropologist explaining the control of mankind over beast was played loudly by Morry Schorr who gave it the archetypal scientist twist performance that will make you smile more than once or twice.
Yes, there is someone playing Kong. With dedication to the physicality and the sincere honesty of what the beast from Skull Island must have been dealing with, Germaine De Leon gives a very real physical performance as Kong that you’ll remember.
A much deserved note goes out to the intensely funny and sincere delivery of the ‘black actor’/native chief’s speech in the middle of the play regarding the ‘white man’s’ dominance in film and society which was energetically performed by Arden Haywood. Arden was a pure delight to watch!
Tiffanie McQueen gets a very special nod from me because of her clever scenery and prop design. Such hysterical design and clever site gags make you believe Kong is everywhere. It’s just amazing how creative designers can be.
Whether in the jungle, high atop the Empire State Building or aboard a sea faring vessel, “Kong-A Goddamn Thirty-Foot Gorilla” is a fun, frolic of passion comedy adventure and audience participation. Check out SkyPilot Theatre’s production at www.SkyPilotTheatre.com
Pic 001 Sara Kubida, David Caprita, J.R. Esposito BK - Eric Curtis Johnson, Nathan Wellman
Pic 002 Arden Haywood, Sara Kubida INSET - Zelika Chante, Sara Kubida, Eric Curtis Johnson, Nathan Wellman