Presented by Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company (aka The Met)
Reviewed 13 Oct 2016
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s majestic music for the overture of The King and I set the scene for Anna’s arrival in Siam. There are many wonderful tunes in this musical and all are handled well by Ben Saunders and his orchestra. The set works quite well, but lacks a little of the opulence one would expect from a palace.
Director Barry Hill has chosen his cast well, showing his experience and knowledge in the steady hand that guided the production. The costumes, coordinated by Leonie Osborn and Carmel Vistoli were colourful and appropriate. Though for the most part well executed, the choreography was a little dull.
This tale of clashing cultures, both of the protagonists refusing to give ground, relies on the portrayal of the lead characters for success and they do great job!
Selena Britz looked every inch the English lady, displaying trepidation but character and singing beautifully. She really shows her vocal talents in Hello Young lLvers. Noah Lane as her son Louis, who makes a good impression, accompanies Anna. Greeting Anna is the Kralaholme, played by Siau-Suan Liau who is small in stature but creates an imposing figure for this role.
As the King, Brad Martin, seemed a little unsure at the very beginning, but quickly grew into the role and was thoroughly impressive in the later scenes and created just the right amount of sympathy in the final scenes. He owns the stage during his delivery of A Puzzlement. Jack Raftopolous, as Crown Prince Chululongkhorn was very regal with good stage presence. The duet between the Prince and Louis was lovely.
Mika Beyer as Lady Thiang was charming and her solo Lord and Master seemed heartfelt. The well know duet We Kiss in a Shadow is a musical highlight with the voices of Leah Harford (Tuptim) and Jared Frost (Lun Tar) blending so well. Jamie Jewel was the perfect English gentleman as Sir Edward Ramsay.
This is a fine performance of a much-loved musical, which will be even better in later shows.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards