Fresh and sumptuous, it’s worth getting to know ‘King and I’ at Saenger

The nationwide touring firm of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” arrived on the Saenger Theatre Tuesday night with a manufacturing as lush visually as it’s vocally, one which leaves an emotional influence reminding the viewers of the whole lot that regal musical theater ought to be.

The Tony Award-profitable revival from Lincoln Middle leaves the viewers with greater than just some joyful tunes. Director Bartlett Sher’s imaginative and prescient of the present makes it as recent and very important because it should have been for audiences when it first opened on Broadway greater than sixty five years in the past. Because it addresses themes of racism, sexism, slavery and the clashes of conflicting worldviews and cultures, the costuming could also be of the nineteenth century, however the messages of “The King and I” resonate in the present day.

The musical, based mostly on the novel “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon, is the extremely fictionalized account of the widowed Victorian schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, who travels to Bangkok to teach the favored youngsters of the king. Together with her classes come Western influences that each subtly and overtly instill beliefs within the equality of girls and the mental progress to query abject authority. The teachings even have an effect on the bookish however custom-sure king, a person struggling to maneuver his nation into the fashionable world, whereas sustaining a delight in its distinctive heritage and tradition.


  • What: The Broadway in New Orleans collection presents the basic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, in a touring manufacturing of the Tony Award-profitable revival at Lincoln Middle. Bartlett Sher directs.
  • The place: Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St.
  • When: Performances at 7:30 Wednesday and Thursday; at eight Friday and Saturday; and matinees at 2 on Saturday and at 1 on Sunday. The ultimate efficiency is at 6:30 on Sunday, Nov. 19.
  • Admission: $31-$one hundred twenty five. Group reductions can be found. For info, name 800.218.7469, or go to the theater’s web site.

Full of a number of love tales, on the coronary heart of “The King and I” is the connection between Anna and the king, one which begins as a conflict of wills however grows into considered one of mutual respect, help and a filial love.

With a candy lyric soprano, Laura Michelle Kelly provides an invigorating efficiency as Anna, portraying her as a robust determine who overcomes her personal vulnerabilities. From the second she sings “I Whistle a Completely happy Tune,” Kelly reveals the decided drive that with face any fears. Despite the fact that she is in his eyes, “an unworthy lady,” the king acknowledges in her a peer. Kelly additionally exudes a heat, loving nature that pulls the youngsters and the king’s many wives to her instantly, together with the viewers.

Jose Llana is an imposing king. Coming from the Broadway run, he does what these of a sure era would not have thought potential – making his personal mark on the position that was owned by digital birthright by Yul Brynner. Treating it as greater than a mere star car, Llana unpeels the layers of the position. In such numbers as “A Puzzlement,” he brilliantly capturing…

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