“The King & I” (2011)

CATS, in collaboration with InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages, presents

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s

THE KING AND I

Music by RICHARD RODGERS

Book and Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

Based on “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon

Original Choreography by Jerome Robbins

THE KING AND I is presented through special arrangement with

R & H Theatricals: www.rnhtheatricals.com

March 17 to April 16, 2011
at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City

ANNA-KING DANCE

King and I Cast

King
Anna
Lady Thiang
Tuptim
Lun Tha
Kralahome
Louis
Prince Chululongkorn
Orton/Ramsay
Jared Lee
Grace Fae
Sharon Heinz
Lyra Dominguez
Ron Sasaki
Hock Tjoa
Grant Hempy
Andrew Sasaki
Keith Porter
Ensemble
Natalie Bernad (Court Dancer; Eliza)
Allison Chan (Royal Wife)
Erin Cummiskey (Royal Wife)
Kevin Freeman
John King (Interpreter)
Lisa Moon (Royal Wife)
Olivia Pritchett (Royal Wife)
Kelly Rowe (Royal Wife)
Andrew Sanith
Libby Tjoa
Virgil Wong (Phra Alack)
Royal Children
Tynan Douros
Bella Moon Drake
Jozi Gullickson
Xochitl Husted
Anna O’Neill
Jack O’Neill
Brie Parker
Matthew Parks
Aneka Torgrimson

Show Synopsis

East versus West makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale of enormous fascination. It is 1862 in Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna’s assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story. Along with the dazzling score, the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas,” is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.

The Orchestra

Pianos: Ken Getz and Ken Hardin · Violin: Rose-May Mickelson · Cello: David Eby or Eric Rubenstein · Flute: Melinda Douros or Kirsti Powell · Clarinet: Henry Hansen · Bass: Steve Nicholson · Percussion: Kit Bailey or John Basa

Production Crew

Director: Leslie Ann Rivers · Musical Director: Ken Hardin · Assistant Musical Director: Ken Getz · Dance Director: George Jayne · Technical Director: Tom Taylor · Lighting Designer: Chris Christensen · Costume Designer: Sovahn LeBlanc · Set Designer: Pam Hodges · Hair and Makeup Designer: Heather Zelle · Assistant Hair and Makeup Designer: Sara Quay · Properties Designer: Katherine Scourtes · Stage Manager: Heather Heckler · Production Managers: Peter Mason, Hock Tjoa, and Lisa Moon · Collaborators:InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages

Collaborators

“CATS appreciates the collaborative effort of InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages in the production of “The King and I.” Please visit their websites at www.inconcertsierra.org andwww.sierrastages.org

Theatre Review (as heard on Capitol Public Radio): The King and I, by Jeff Hudson

JEFF-HUDSONWith an experienced professional playing the King, and three women with conservatory-trained voices as the female leads, it’s hard to call this show “community theater.” It isn’t as grand as a Music Circus show, but there is marvelous chemistry between handsome Jared Lee, an Equity actor from Elk Grove, and young Grace Fae, a recent graduate of the theater program at Yale.

The historic Nevada Theatre, a little gem dating from the 1800s, adds to the charm. Yet despite the venue’s intimate size, the stage is still big enough to handle the mob of cute school-age youngsters, who play the King’s numerous children.

For decades, “The King and I” was usually staged with Anglo actors playing the Asian roles, which strained the show’s credibility, and sometimes looked just plain silly. That’s what makes this production, using as many ethnically appropriate actors as the company could muster, so refreshing.

The winning chemistry between the leads actors makes this show a winner. And it’s nice to hear them sing in a smaller hall, without microphones. Colorful costumes, ranging from big hooped Victorian skirts to traditional Siamese garb, will attract your eyes. At three hours, it’s a full-length old school musical, but it feels much shorter. This cute little semi-professional production is an experience I’m happy to recommend – but you’ll want to reserve tickets, because some performances are already sold out.

Shall We Dance? “The King and I” Will Get You to Do So
by Hindi Greenberg, as appeared in The Union on March 24, 2011

HINDIWe are fortunate in this county to have groups that collaborate, especially to bring us extremely enjoyable musical theater. Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) has collaborated with InConcert Sierra and Sierra Stages to present an excellent production of “The King and I,” by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

“The King and I” is one of the most popular and oft-produced plays in the musical genre. Some think of it as merely a fluff about a British school teacher who is hired in the 1860’s by the King of Siam to teach his many children as part of his goal to modernize his country. But it is amazing how avant garde Hammerstein’s story and lyrics were. Written in 1951, during a time of American social claustrophobia and political witch hunting, the story openly addresses the touchy issues of gender and cultural bias, slavery, interracial love and national elitism. Of course, Rodgers’ lyrical music combines to soften the sometimes barbed commentary.

Leslie Ann Rivers’ thoughtful direction of the play honors both the substance of the words and the loveliness of the music. Her actors aren’t caricatures but fully developed personalities, allowed their individual opportunities to excel. Combined with seven skilled musicians who are tunefully led from his piano by Music Director, Ken Hardin, the production flows effortlessly from scene to scene. That flow is enhanced by the use of an attractively painted silk curtain to shield the audience from the tedium of set changes, along with action sometimes positioned in front of the closed curtain.

The leads-Jared Lee as the King and Grace Fae as Anna-are each exceptional. They have a very nice chemistry together and individually exhibit great voices, vibrant personalities and an easy energy. They are excellently supported by both the vocal and acting talents of Sharon Heinz as Lady Thiang and Lyra Dominguez as Tuptim, along with a large cast of other adults and adorable children.

Contributing to the overall success of the production is the spare but more than sufficient set, wonderfully designed and painted by Pam Hodges; the gorgeous costumes-especially those for the King and his wives–designed by Sovahn LeBlanc; the lovely choreography directed by George Jayne; the hair and make-up designed by Heather Zolle; and the creative lighting designed by Chris Christensen.

This play was a massive undertaking, successfully accomplished. So if you enjoy good theater and especially if you like well-done Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, don’t miss “The King and I,” playing through April 16th at the Nevada Theatre.

Hindi Greenberg knows the words to almost all of the songs in “The King and I,” so she had to bite her tongue to keep from singing along (especially since that would have cleared the theater).

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