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Opinion: How two Broadway musicals adapted to the #MeToo era

Rarely has the phrase “900-pound gorilla” seemed as apt as the dilemma facing Broadway producers and creatives this season — especially those who are adapting iconic films from the past for an audience still wrapping its collective head around the social reckonings of post-Harvey Weinstein Hollyw...

The 'King Kong' marquee pays tribute to Ann Darrow's story. (Photo: Jeremy Gerard)

Rarely has the phrase “900-pound gorilla” seemed as apt as the dilemma facing Broadway producers and creatives this season — especially those who are adapting iconic films from the past for an audience still wrapping its collective head around the social reckonings of post-Harvey Weinstein Hollywood.

Two film-based musicals in particular posed challenges their producers might not have anticipated when they acquired the rights. I’m thinking, of course, about “Pretty Woman,” which began previews last week at the Nederlander Theatre, following a Chicago tryout, and is slated to open Aug.16, and “King Kong,” which is on track to begin previews Oct. 5 and open Nov. 8 at the Broadway Theatre. They follow the three big musical revivals from last season – “Carousel,” “My Fair Lady” and “Once on This Island” – each of which presented similar challenges because of their central female characters.

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