by Destiney Warren
Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s The King and I, presented by the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, opened this past weekend and is a perfect show to go to if you’re looking for a whole bunch of laughs…and maybe even a few tears. My boyfriend who has never been to a play (ever!!!) really enjoyed it so it’s perfect for everyone.
In the musical, which is based on the book Anna and the King of Siam, widowed mother Anna Leonowens (Brooke Rogers), and her young son, travel to Bangkok, Siam. There she is to teach the King of Siam’s (Christopher Dorado) wives and children in school, as well as English customs and etiquette. Anna and the stubborn King clash frequently causing Anna to threaten to leave, but she finds herself falling in love with the children and stays. Anna also finds herself attempting to advise the King, especially when the kingdom of Siam is threatened. Throughout the story, we also learn of Princess Tuptim (Rebekah Robles), a “gift” to the King from the King of Burma. Tuptim is unhappy in Siam and translates “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” into a Siamese ballet.
The entire cast delivered a spectacular performance. Christopher Dorado was perfect as the arrogant and set in his way King, and Brooke Rogers shined as Anna Leonowens. Her delivery of the character’s witty lines were on point, she never missed a beat. My favorite song that she sang was “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” Rebekah Robles performed an unforgettable Tuptim; her vocals in “We Kiss in a Shadow” were remarkable. Abby Sherrill who played Lady Thiang also wowed the audience with her execution of “Something Wonderful.”
One of the most memorable parts of this play was Tuptim’s Ballet, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas.” The beautiful costumes and choreography made this one of the outstanding features of the play. The costumes throughout the rest of the play were also breathtaking.
The King and I was a very enjoyable production, well acted and sang, and they did a marvelous job with the costumes and set. It’s a perfect evening or afternoon, but there is only one weekend left so make sure you get your tickets at COSTHEATRE.org/tickets or by calling 559-730-3907. The last showings are March 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on March 20 at 2:00 p.m.
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