Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight

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Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre opens the Tony and Academy Award winning musical, The King and I, tonight, July 9 in Winchester, VA. Set against the backdrop of 19th century Siam, Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I explores the conflicted relationship between King Mongkut of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher hired by the King as part of his plans to modernize his country. Scroll down for a first look at the cast in action!

Jenna Pinchbeck, whose Off-Broadway and regional credits include Fancy Nancy: The Musical, Avenue Q (Kate/Lucy), Servant of Two Masters (Beatrice), Noises Off (Belinda), and Ragtime (Mother), plays Anna.

Russell Rinker, who was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, first performed with SSMT at age 9, and is starring as the King this summer. An actor, musician, and stunt performer, Rinker has spent most of his professional career as a member of the internationally renowned Blue Man Group. Other credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Los Angeles Opera; TV; Arrested Development, The Tonight Show, and The Disney Channel.

SSMT has assembled a fantastic team who is lovingly crafting The King and I. Director Carolyn Coulson is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Shenandoah Conservatory, where she has directed Assassins, Sweet Charity, Anything Goes, 1 Henry IV, Pride and Prejudice, Noises Off, and The Secret Garden. Other directing credits include Pippin, Reckless, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A...My Name is Alice, Gammer Gurton's Needle, and Steel Magnolias. Music Director Thomas Albert was most recently seen conducting the SSMT orchestra for last season's critically acclaimed LES MISERABLES and Chicago. He has served as a music director for SSMT since its first season in 1984; recent work includes 9 to 5, Grease, Aida, Curtains, Seussical, and Show Boat. He has been on the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory since 1974; he is currently professor of music (composition, musical theatre) and holds the Charles B. Levitin Chair in Musical Theatre.

Choreographer Edward Carignan lives and works in NYC. Director/Choreographer credits include: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Short North Stage and American Repertory Theater, Boston, MA- Broadway World Best Musical 2012), Is There Life After High School? (NYC Revival), Boomermania: The Musical About the Baby Boomers (Original Los Angeles Production), and A Christmas Story and Forum (Little Theatre on the Square, IL).

Audiences will thrill to Rodgers and Hammerstein's memorable score, which includes such standards as "Getting to Know You," "Shall We Dance," "We Kiss In a Shadow," and "Something Wonderful." "I have the privilege of singing so many classics!" Pinchbeck said. "Whistle a Happy Tune" and "Hello, Young Lovers" are such a joy to sing and they both have beautifully heart-wrenching reprises in the second act. My personal favorite is Anna's soliloquy, "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You". It's Anna's big moment to let loose and share her frustrations with the audience."

The cast features Jenna Pinchbeck as Anna Leonowens, Russell Rinker as the King, Robin Higginbotham as Lady Thiang, Christopher Prasse as Lun Tha, Robin Chinn as Tuptim, Charles Casey as Louis Leonowens, Andrew Robare as Prince Chulalongkorn, Jef Mueller as Captain Orton, Zac Ostrowski as the Interpreter, Taylor Bloom as The Kralahome, Rafael Martinez-Salgado as Phra Alack, Natalie Youngblood as Princess Ying Yaowalak, and James Laster as Sir Edward Ramsay. The Princesses and Princes and Adult Ensemble include Jordan Armel, Anna Bowman, Harrison Casey, Alma Díaz, Lily Fidler, Hal Grigsby, Pippa Grigsby, Rena Kornreich, Isabel Mammano, Lucas Mammano, Elinor Mollihan, Zoe Mueller, Will Schwantes, Naleah Seabright, Adam Venha-Carter, Eliza Grigsby, Courtney Hostetler, Kacey Willis, Nikkie Culbreth, Cassandra Hlong, Patrick Clealand Rosé, Margaret Butler, Elizabeth Garcia, Lindy Hockaday, Leslie Joelle, Philip Skinner, Kelsee Sweigard, Bryce Wagner, Cassidy Watkinson, Mara Lucas, Meg Stefanowicz, Claire Wittman, Sam Bostic, R.C. Hiers, Cressler Peele, and Daniel Pippert.

Performances begin tonight, July 9 and continue through July 20. Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's The King and I performs at the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 1460 University Drive, Winchester, VA 22601. Tickets to The King and I may be purchased online at http://shenandoahsummermusictheatre.com/purchase-tickets or by calling the box office at 540-665-4569 or 877-580-8025.

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

Photo Flash: First Look - Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's THE KING AND I Opens Tonight
The Cast of THE KING AND I

high res photos

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