African American Broadway Actress Makes History in King Kong

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Christiani Pitts, actress, King Kong on Broadway, who shares her career experiences and what it’s like to be the first African American woman to play the role of Ann Darrow.

1/24/19 #2190






"Oh my god! There she is. [laughter] That girl... she... that's talent. That's Christiani... [laughter] ...Pitts. She is in King Kong on Broadway playing at the Broadway Theater... 1861 Broadway. How are you doing? I'm doing great! Describe... Especially after that. This... [laughter] What's it like for you to see that? It's overwhelming! It's cool now. At first, it was overwhelming, now I just feel really cool and proud of it. But when I first saw it I was... I cried. Now we're doing this show toward the end of 2018, you started early in November, right? Mm hmm. First night... you're out there... Amazing... It's you, you are breaking all kinds of, you know… [laughter] You're the first African-American woman to play this role? Yeah. What's it like? It's amazing. I mean, it's like you... you don't realize that you're sort of representing a large group of young ladies who want to see themselves on stage until you're doing it. And then you get a lot of love from people who want to do this, you know, want to be in shows like this. So it's the best feeling in the world. It really is. Now, King Kong... when did it first... what was the year? Help me on this, guys. What was the year? King Kong... 1930s? 1930s. Yeah. ... that it came out. Okay so there's a million different King Kong iterations, right? Yeah. And now this? Mm hmm. As I was reading about your background... your family... that makes it even more special? Yeah. Oh yeah. Talk a little bit about your background. Yeah, well I'm from the South. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta, right. And I moved to New Jersey, but my roots were very Southern. Montclair, New Jersey, my hometown. Yeah. Yeah. We can claim you? Yeah, you can... oh yeah. I love Montclair. So does Atlanta, by the way. A lot of people are claiming you right now. Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead. But... so I'm from the South, so it means a lot to me to sort of be a black woman from the South who came to New York City to pursue her dreams in the early 2000s, to sort of represent a woman who did that in 1930s. Because it was a much bolder move for her to have done it back then than for me to do it now. So it's an honor to play with it everynight. And like you said, King Kong came out in the 30s, but it's clearly very special because it's been redone, you know, over 15 times. Right. There's a new movie coming out soon... Skull Island, you know, part two, if you will. So it's special. It's special..."