The greatest show on earth : King Kong : a music theatre event and the dawn of the megamovical
AffiliationMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Rachael Munro
This thesis is an examination of recent trends in musical theatre, focussing on the 2013 musical King Kong: A Music Theatre Event as a case study. It discusses the recent musical theatre landscape, demonstrating how King Kong is part of a growing trend of Broadway shows that have turned to Hollywood for inspiration. It then locates the musical within the rich history of the King Kong narrative, with a particular focus on the three most prominent King Kong films: the original from 1933 and two remakes from 1976 and 2005. Finally it describes the creation and development of the musical, before moving into an extensive synopsis (complete with the placement of musical numbers and images from the show), and ending with an analysis of the music, book, and underlying commentary. I argue that the King Kong musical is an early exemplar of a new genre of musical theatre: the ‘megamovical’, a new generation of the megamusical, as defined by Jessica Sternfeld in her book of that name, with a particularly close relationship with the film upon which it is based, and briefly examine other examples from recent Broadway shows.
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