Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Parks Foundation proudly announces its newest theater/music commission King Kong, playing at SummerStage presented by AT&T, New York City’s largest free performing arts festival taking place in 17 parks throughout all 5 boroughs. The full season of SummerStage runs from June 4 – August 29.
King Kong is part of the “This Is __ Hip-Hop” series, an overarching theme of the 2013 SummerStage festival that celebrates 40 years since the legendary Hip-Hop DJ Kool Herc first began to spin records in the recreation room of his Bronx building; isolating and mixing together breaks from different songs and forming the basis of what the world has come to know as Hip-Hop. The genre has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is one of the most pervasive cultural movements of this century.
Randy Weiner and Alfred Preisser have written 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.
King Kong will be Weiner's inaugural production with SummerStage and his first production in set in a park. “As an artist, I am interested in the event of a performance. The shows that excite me are the ones that create new contexts for audiences and performers to interact. I grew up in New York City and I love our parks. Everyone’s in the park. You do a show for free in the park and you have the chance to bring all different sorts of people together. People who normally might not interact with one another. To me, that's what New York City is all about.” said Weiner regarding his decision to participate in the SummerStage Theatre festival.
King Kong is written and directed by Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner and is the third collaboration between the duo. Preisser says of the collaboration, “In King Kong, as in our prior work together, we 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.”
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", a critically acclaimed remake of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" taking place inside New York's McKittrick Hotel. 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.