Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘King and I’ comes to Sacramento
“The King and I,” one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most treasured musicals, is the next show in the 2013 Music Circus season at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, Aug. 6-11.
With book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and music by Richard Rodgers, the show features the classic songs “Shall We Dance?,” “Getting to Know You” and “Something Wonderful.” “The King and I” won five Tony Awards in 1951, including Best Musical, and ran for three years on Broadway. There were three subsequent Broadway productions, the most recent one in 1996.
One of the all-time favorite shows of Music Circus patrons, this will be the 13th Music Circus production of “The King and I.” The first production was in 1956, and the most recent one was in 2005.
Playing Anna in this beloved Rogers and Hammerstein treasure will be Christiane Noll, a Tony nominee and acclaimed Broadway actress known for her performances in “Ragtime” and “Jekyll & Hyde.” Paul Nakauchi, whose credits include “The King and I” on Broadway and voices for the video game “Call of Duty,” will play the King of Siam. Alan Ariano of Broadway’s “Miss Saigon” and “M. Butterfly” will portray the Kralahome. Appearing as Lun Tha will be Broadway veteran Telly Leung, who plays the recurring role of Wes the Warbler on the hit TV series “Glee.” Diane Phelan, who starred in the national tours of “West Side Story,” “South Pacific,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “The King and I,” will play Tuptim.
Lady Thiang will be portrayed by Tami Swartz, an acclaimed singer/actor with a varied career in opera, theater and jazz. Luis Avila returns to “The King and I” to play Simon after previously appearing in the show at Music Circus and on tour. Ron Wisniski, a Music Circus favorite whose numerous credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “Les Misèrables” and “Oliver!” will appear as Captain Orton. Rumi Oyama, who was seen at Music Circus in “Miss Saigon,” will play George, and Michiko Takemasa will play Eliza. In the role of Sir Edward Ramsay is Sacramento actor Michael Stevenson, who was in last season’s Music Circus production of “Fiddler On The Roof.” Carter Thomas, who was in last season’s Music Circus production of “The Music Man,” plays Louis Leonowens. Making his Music Circus debut in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn is Andrew Apy, whose professional theatre roles include Colin in “The Secret Garden” (TheatreWorks) and Jason in “Falsettoland” (StirFry Theatre).
Directing this production of “The King and I” is acclaimed theatre director Stafford Arima, who was nominated for an Olivier Award (Best Director) for his West End production of “Ragtime,” and has directed previous Music Circus productions including “Miss Saigon,” “Ragtime,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “A Little Night Music.” Choreographer is Bob Richard, who has choreographed more than 35 Music Circus productions and has extensive Broadway, touring Broadway and regional theatre experience. Music Director is Craig Barna, who has worked with Music Circus for 27 years and has conducted on Broadway, for touring Broadway productions and at a number of prominent regional theatres across the country.
Music Circus is produced under the leadership of California Musical Theatre Artistic Director Glenn Casale and Executive Producer Scott Klier. California Musical Theatre President and CEO is Richard Lewis.
Tickets for “The King and I” range from $30 to $74 and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at Tickets.com or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office, 1419 H St. in Sacramento. Evening performances are Tuesday, Aug. 6, Wednesday, Aug. 7, and Sunday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 8, Friday, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. Matinee performances are Thursday, Aug. 8, Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m. For more information visit SacramentoMusicCircus.com.