Acclaimed impresario of non-traditional theater Randy Weiner and director Alfred Preisser team up for a Hip-Hop themed theater remake of the classic story, “King Kong”, a totally original music/dance/comedy spectacle that radically subverts everything you thought you knew about one of the most famous love stories of all time. Set in the “Bronx is Burning” era of the late 1970s, SummerStage’s “King Kong” celebrates the nascent 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 defining, most powerful and profitable artistic movements in the world.
The Gold brothers, the owners of a failing R&B label (Gold Records) are in search of a musical savior. Having heard of a mystic place, a lost world cut off from the rest of civilization by the East River to the south and the Cross Bronx Expressway to the north and enshrouded in the fog of a thousand apartment building fires set by absentee landlords, the legendary South Bronx of 1978 is also the home of the most talented artist alive. Kong is an M.C. and natural genius of rhyme and rhythm whose awesome powers transcend artificial categories and defy the crass and hackneyed formulas of the commercial music industry. In hot pursuit of Kong, the Gold brothers hire a beautiful secretary, Faye Wellington, and go off to capture this force of nature in order to profit from Kong’s gifts and share his music with a world desperately in need of inspiration. They load up the Gold family Volvo and journey to deepest, darkest South Bronx to capture Kong and bring him to civilization.
SummerStage Theatre, in collaboration with Preisser and Weiner, have created a fun, outrageous, and thoroughly entertaining work that will be not only be a unique and exciting experience but also a twisted and insightful treatment of the racial stereotypes inherent in the “King Kong” story.
Randy Weiner, called “a mad genius of New York nightlife,” by The Wall Street Journal, is a leading impresario of non-traditional theater in New York and around the world. With partners Simon Hammerstein and Richard Kimmel, Weiner created and continues to manage the successful variety theater-nightclub, The Box, with current locations in NYC and London. Along with Hammerstein, Weiner has created a new brand of theater-nightclubs, The Act, currently in Las Vegas and Dubai. Additionally, with partners Jonathan Hochwald and Arthur Karpati, Weiner is producer of the immersive theater experience, Sleep No More, currently running in New York. Past works with Alfred Preisser include Archbishop Supreme and Caligula Maximus.
Alfred Preisser is an award winning director, writer and producer of theatre with over 40 professional credits in NYC, regionally and Europe. Highlights include The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Founding Artistic Director, 1999-2009) and his work leading The Harlem School of the Arts Theatre. Upcoming in 2013/14: Street Scene (producer), world premiere of Diablo Love with SummerStage, House of Lear w/ Andre DeShields and the first major revival of The Connection with the world famous Living Theatre.
**Note: This production contains strong language**
Part of SummerStage’s “This is __ Hip-Hop” series.