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‘King Kong’ grabs De Vries

Musical to include tunes by McLachlan, others

The Aussie tuner incarnation of “King Kong” has tapped Marius de Vries, the composer and arranger for pics including “Moulin Rouge” and “Romeo + Juliet,” to oversee the score of the brewing stage musical.

De Vries will pull together a score combining 1930s standards, including “I Wanna Be Loved by You” and “Get Happy,” with new and pre-existing tunes by music acts including Sarah McLachlan, Justice, the Avalanches, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja and Elbow’s Guy Garvey. Stephen Pavlovic from Oz music label/promoter Modular People as well as scribe Michael Mitnick, book writer of the upcoming “Animal House” tuner, will write some of the lyrics.

Producers of the brewing musical, aiming for a Down Under world preem in June, have set early casting details, with Esther Hannaford cast in the Fay Wray part alongside thesps including Adam Lyon, Chris Ryan, Richard Piper and Queenie van de Zandt.

New collaborators join a creative team that already includes book writer Craig Lucas (“The Light in the Piazza”) and helmer Daniel Kramer.

Aussie animatronic specialists Global Creatures, a producer of branded stadium tours including “Walking With Dinosaurs” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” produce “King Kong.” Show bows in Melbourne’s Regent Theater on June 15. No future stagings have yet been mapped out, although an international life for the production seems likely to follow.

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