BWW Review: THE KING AND I on Tour at Bass Concert Hall
Rodgers and Hammerstein have been a household name for many years. Even younger generations know them as one of the greatest musical duo's in the history of Broadway. With the creation of THE KING AND I, Rodgers and Hammerstein proved that they would take their place in history amongst the greats.
Bass Concert Hall came alive with the latest tour of THE KING AND I and took audience members on a journey away from their own mundane lives and into the exotic world of Siam in the mid 1800's. To see the stage and scenery was to be transported back in time and to enjoy the sights of the beautiful Siam architecture of the period. Michael Yeargan shares his talents as set designer and transformed the stage into a palace fit for a king.
If the scenery wasn't enough to take your breath away, the actors certainly would. Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna was a beautiful example of what the character Anna was capable of doing. Kelly showed her impressive talents on such songs as "Hello Young Lovers" and "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" It was also impressive how Kelly connected to the children in the production making it seem like she was truly the teacher to her young students.
Jose Llana, as the king, made it quickly evident why he was chosen for this role. Llana is no stranger to THE KING AND I. Llana credits this classic musical with launching his career as he played the role of Lun Tha. With maturity and age, Llana made the character of the King of Siam his own. The role is demanding and full of many emotions but Llana proved he had the stamina and talent to pull it off. His musical talent was nothing less than extraordinary. Llana's natural talent as well as his classical training at the Manhattan School of Music was obvious as he took the spotlight on the stage with "A Puzzlement." Llana owned that song and had the audience wanting to jump to their feet when he sang, "But is a puzzlement!"
Kelly and Llana weren't the only ones who shared their impressive talents on the stage in THE KING AND I. Actresses Q Lim (Tuptim) and Joan Amedilla (Lady Thiang) proved that the talent was astounding in this touring production. Judging by the solo of "My Lord and Master," that Lim sang, it is apparent that she has natural abilities as well as professional training to make Tuptim come to life. The raw emotion and sincerity in her voice made the audience gasp in delight as she expressed the loneliness and suffering of Tuptim. The character of Lady Thiang was a very important character to the story of THE KING AND I. Amedilla took this role very seriously as she sang "Something Wonderful." She is a true professional through and through and knows her way around a stage.
THE KING AND I continues at Bass Concert Hall in Austin through until Sunday, December 17, 2017. Tickets are going fast so make sure you check out texasperformingarts.org to secure your tickets soon.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matthew Murphy