Tyler Fleming, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Louisville, spoke about “King Kong: The First South African Musical” in our Far Away Places series and as part of the Year of South African celebration on Thursday, September 24 at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Bowling Green, KY.
Tyler Fleming, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Louisville, will be speaking about King Kong: The First South African Musical in our Far Away Places series and as part of the Year of South African celebration on Thursday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane).
Based on the life of an African boxer (and not the overgrown gorilla from American cinema) King Kong featured an African composer and all-Black cast, including many local musicians and singers who would later become internationally famous like Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masakela along with Manhattan Brothers’ Nathan “Dambuzza” Mdedle who played the role of Ezekiel “King Kong” Diemani.
Following its debut in 1959 it became South Africa’s first blockbuster theatrical success and the touring production was seen by more than 200,000 people. In 1961 it moved to London for a two year run.
Fleming is a Connecticut native who received his MA and PhD at the University of Texas. He taught at Florida International University before joining the faculty of the University of Louisville. In 2012 with Toyin Falola he edited Music, Performance and African Identities a major new reference work for Routledge Press.