Monday, May 29, 2017


Mrs. Anna Leonowens, a widowed school teacher from England, and her precocious son Louis, request your presence  for a royal visit to the  magical, mystical and mysterious land of Siam, for the express purpose of "Getting to Know You" and vice versa. She has been hired by the King of Siam to bring scientific progress to the children and wives who are currently in his favor. So begins one of the greatest musical love stories of all time “The King and I” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, doing a lively waltz across the stage of Hartford’s Bushnell Theater until Sunday, June 4th.

Laura Michelle Kelly is glorious as Anna and is a feisty match for the indomitably willed King, played with great charm and aplomb by Jose Llana. The two clash like a proverbial gong over customs, culture, opinions and options. But Anna, whistling a happy tune to keep fear at bay, never backs down from what she believes is the true course, and, in the process, steers the King into enlightenment.

The opulent splendor of the sets, the carnival of colorful costumes, the incredible score of tunes like "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," "Something Wonderful" and "I Whistle a Happy Tune", the excellent cast that includes a passel of adorable children, the wonderful staging and choreography of the “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet all combine to make this an outstanding production, under the skilled direction of Bartlett Sher. The tragic love story of Tuptim (Manna Nichols) and Lun Tha (Kavin Panmeechao) underscores the long journey Siam must make until it faces the modern age and abandons slavery.
For tickets ($36.50-121.50), call The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900. Performances are Thursday  at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m.,  Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and  Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

This Lincoln Center Theater production was the winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.  Weave a royal tapestry and fly on a magic cloud as the majesty of this musical captures your heart. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  This is momentous and magical theater at its royal best!

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