All our favorite songs and dances are intact; all the lessons of love and tolerance are firmly in place. I began to smile during the stirring overture and didn’t stop until the final standing ovation.
Laura Michelle Kelly, with a long list of solid stage, screen and television credits here and in the UK plays Anna, the Welch school teacher who comes to teach the King of Siam’s many children. Ms Kelly’s voice is perfect, beautiful, her acting impeccable, and she can handle the huge hoopskirted costumes with amazing aplomb.
Kevin Gray is The King, a man torn between his traditions and his common sense, trying desperately to learn the ways of the west lest his small country be swallowed up by English imperialism. Mr. Gray has a powerful, melodious voice whether he’s speaking or singing. And to his credit he made the role his own while staying true to the character.
Joan Almedilla is excellent as Lady Thiang, “head wife”. Her achingly heart felt performance of Something Wonderful was, well, wonderful.
Alan Ariano, in his Muny debut, took a fine turn as Kralahome, advisor to the King. Joshua Dela Cruz and Stephanie Park played star crossed lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim. Their sweet duet of I Have Dreamed left me with a lump in my throat.
And who could possibly resist the Muny kids in Getting to Know You, or The March of the Siamese Children? and the dancers in the Siamese interpretation of Uncle Tom's Cabin, led by Haruka Tamura as Elisa were a joy to watch.
From the breath taking costumes and towering sets to the precision of the dancers, musicians and performers, Director Rob Ruggiero, Choreographer Ralph Perkins, and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson have delivered a fitting finale to the Muny’s 94th season in The King and I.