Go big or go home! King Kong opens on Broadway this week in a spectacular new production featuring a 20-foot-tall animatronic puppet weighing in at 2,000 pounds. But there’s more to this majestic musical than its title character. The Broadway Blog’s editor chatted with ensemble member Leroy Church about his Broadway debut and what it was like to audition and now perform in this spectacular new show.
What was your audition experience like for King Kong?
I auditioned in June of 2017. I had never felt more connected to a project at a call. I just knew I booked it. It was at my birthday party when my agent called to let me know I was on “hold.” I had no idea what this “hold” meant.
Fast forward to October… still no word. I saw there were EPAʼs for King Kong. (An Equity Principal Audition — basically an open call). I went to the call and sang. After I finished, I was in the lobby getting myself together to leave and casting came out to talk with me. “Why are you here, you didnʼt talk to your agent?” My agent had called me two days before to let me know that I had booked. I missed that call. When I called back, I spoke to a different agent about another gig. So basically, I auditioned for the show even after booking it!
There have been three major King Kong films (1933, 1976, and 2005) — confession: have you watched any/all of them and, if so, have they given you any inspiration?
Confession: the only King Kong movie I ever saw was after being in the show. I watched Skull Islandon Netflix. It was interesting, and I found some inspiration for my sailor character in the show.
Can you offer us a sneak peek of some of the various roles you play as an ensemble member?
As an ensemble member of King Kong, I get to play a New Yorker, a casting director, sailor/dock worker, a cobra, a performer in a show within the show, and a producer.