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The King and I previews thread - Page 4

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HorseTears
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The king and I previews thread #76
Posted: 3/13/15 at 2:58am

What is he? 120? 125 lbs? Nothing wrong with that. Just was surprised by his casting as he doesn't quite fit the traditional Lun Tha model.

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Princeton Returns
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The king and I previews thread #77
Posted: 3/13/15 at 5:03am
Yeah he is very far from the usual buff actor that would play the role. But I guess he fits the skinny jeaned One Direction style that is the trend on male attractiveness at the moment.
Musicaldudepeter
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The king and I previews thread #78
Posted: 3/13/15 at 6:25am
Can anyone who was there tell us how different this production is from the 96 revival... I'm curious to know how Sher approaches it, is it stylistically like his South Pacific in terms of that cinematic fluidity and simplicity? Can anyone go into detail about the set? Are there different compartments, are cloths used, etc?
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The king and I previews thread #79
Posted: 3/13/15 at 6:34am
Could someone also go into detail about Ken's character interpretation? Did he stay clear of the usual Yul Brenner interpretation? Also, could someone message me privately about the boat scene? I'm dying to know. I get not wanting to spoil it but some of us will never be able to see this production live.
Countdown til Jordan comes on raging about how much loves me! 3..2..1...
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HorseTears
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The king and I previews thread #80
Posted: 3/13/15 at 7:09am
All the comments focused on K.W.'s diction. Also curious, though, how was Kelli's British accent?
candydog2
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The king and I previews thread #81
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:09am
I'm really curious about the boat scene too! Can someone PM me as well? I probably won't be back in NY to see this!

How is the choreography for Shall We Dance? I hate when it's over-choreographed. I prefer just having them dance in a circle like the movie and 1996 revival, it fits the spontaneity of the moment better than when it turns into an actual "routine".
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tazber
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The king and I previews thread #82
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:17am
Almost 3 and half hours?

Does anyone remember how long the Murphy/Phillips version was? I don't remember it being that long.
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joeyv2
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The king and I previews thread #83
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:24am
Kelli's accent was flawless. The poster who said she could do no wrong wasn't exaggerating. Her performance was pretty spectacular. She could have not had a single musical number and her actual acting is still something I'd rave about. So expressive and subtle in a show that's not exactly subtle.

I'd echo other people's positive feelings about the show: Kelli, Ruthie Ann Miles was a quiet force (in a worthy followup to Here Lies Love, though it was hard to look at her and not think of Imelda since she embodied that role so fully), and Ashley Park was really remarkable.

It was a long show but didn't drag. The orchestration was spectacular. It felt like a truly classic piece of work but not at all dated in its production.

A few complaints I had: the stage is enormous and, from where I was sitting at least, it didn't feel as though they had "built" a set at all. Apart from the awesome ship everyone keeps raving about, it often felt like random pieces of furniture would roll in and a character would sit down, or a bed would come by, or a dining room table, or a series of chandeliers, etc., but it never felt like I was seeing a fully constructed set piece if that makes sense. Again, it's possible since I was front row on the right up against the stage, I missed a whole head-on vantage point and that's why it looked as it did, but I do think a lot of it had to do with the stage being so enormous. (For those who were there: for example, when Tuptim and Lun Tha meet together outside, the set goes very dim and we just get some hanging vines, nothing else.) It just all seemed surprisingly sparse for such a grand production.

Conrad Ricamora is such a terrific, versatile performer but he was very underused here. Lun Tha is very underwritten. His two moments are excellent with Tuptim and their songs are gorgeous. I don't think they had to change the book or anything, but if he was just physically present on stage more, if we were reminded of his presence more throughout the show, it would have made a much stronger emotional impact. I could see how someone might be confused if they are unfamiliar with the story or have seats far away - the cast is so large and his scenes are so far apart, it'd be easy to forget who he is.

And finally, Mr. Wantanabe. Man. This was a mistake. He's captivating in a sense because he has a great presence, but he cannot sing at all. His one song was embarrassing. It was such a sharp contrast to the rest of the show, especially when his song gets reprised by the two young boys later on. Everyone around me, myself included, was like "My God, I can't understand a word he's saying." And it was kind of unintentionally hilarious when he'd say something indecipherable and then Kelli/Anna would respond quickly with perfect comprehension. I don't know, people may disagree, but this is stunt casting of the worst kind. The poor guy also seemed winded and hoarse by the end of the show, like outright exhausted from all of his shouting and weird shrill shrieking he does throughout the show. It's just a mistake. I would be surprised if he makes it through the show for more than a few months.

But otherwise - it's worth seeing for all the reasons both bad and good. It feels super immersive and at over 3 hours, it felt like half that.
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Up In One
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The king and I previews thread #84
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:34am
The first posts while positive have an air of restraint or they are qualified. I'm getting the sense that there's nothing unique about this production other than a scenic effect. The leading man has major issues and the leading lady is putting in another of her stalworth performances. No one seems to over the top about it yet. There seems to be promise that it will be a good or very good production of a classic. Sounds like the director set the bar too high with South Pacific. The big question - is this the performance Kelli takes home all the marbles for?
After Eight
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The king and I previews thread #85
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:50am
I would say that Watanabe's take on the role was more vulnerable than Brynner's, and less imperious. There was a measure of charm in his portrayal, and well-considered shading. I liked his performance. It's too bad the diction problems diminished from its overall effectiveness.

Updated On: 3/13/15 at 08:50 AM
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The king and I previews thread #86
Posted: 3/13/15 at 8:57am
^ Up in One, You're basing your opinion on first preview reports of a brand new production. There was no out of town try out. They just need some time to work out the kinks, and I absolutely believe that they will because the foundation is clearly there.

The production may seem longer than others because they do include some often cut material. Also, I loved the slower tempo of Western People Funny, and I understand Sher's interpretation of it. It really was performed with a wink to the audience. Cutting the procession of the white elephant saved some time, only some of the beginning music is heard, leading to the dialogue within the sequence.

The set is indeed sparse at times, but Sher already discussed that it wasn't going to be as opulent as former productions. But the hanging vines in the garden are UGLY, I hope they alter that.

Kelli's accent is light and very clear. I cannot wait to see her performance by opening night, I know it will be even better. She truly is one of our brightest stars.



Updated On: 3/13/15 at 08:57 AM
SharoninB
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The king and I previews thread #87
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:09am
should they have hired this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeshi_Kaga
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The king and I previews thread #88
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:11am
how were the kids?
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The king and I previews thread #89
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:22am
How as the orchestra?
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The king and I previews thread #90
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:23am
King and I is my favorite R&H show so I will be excited to hear more reports from the previews. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in learning the true story of Anna Leonowens, I recommend picking up the book Bombay Anna at Amazon. It's a real eye-opener for anyone who thought The King & I or Anna and the King of Siam was a true story.
Bombay Anna at Amazon
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The king and I previews thread #91
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:25am
Kids were wonderful. Jake Lucas and Jon Corpuz were especially strong as Louis and Chulalongkorn. They played the roles more mature than I had expected, and it worked because their Puzzlement Reprise was funny and poignant, not hokey.

Orchestra just as good as South Pacific, not over amplified.
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The king and I previews thread #92
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:52am
I didn't realize Jake Lucas was playing Louis. He's super talented; I hope to see him on Broadway for a LONG time!

Can I have a spoil about the boat too please?

Mixed feelings hearing about Watanabe; it will be interesting to see if/how he improves over time.

There are a few clips on Tumblr...that is all.

ETA: Oh my goodness...I didn't realize it the was the guy from HTGAWM!!!!!! The picture below is...very nice.
Updated On: 3/13/15 at 09:52 AM
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The king and I previews thread #93
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:57am
The king and I previews thread

...Conrad Ricamora is *scrawny*?

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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The king and I previews thread #94
Posted: 3/13/15 at 9:58am
The more I think about it, the more I think Ruthie Ann Miles was the clear standout to me of the show. I really wasn't familiar with her before last night but now I'm a fan for life.
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The king and I previews thread #95
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:02am
Jordan, did you not see her in Here Lies Love? It was a real star turn.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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The king and I previews thread #96
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:02am
3.5 hours for The King & I?

Wow.
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The king and I previews thread #97
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:05am
I timed it and all said, without starting late and intermission the actual performance time was 2:50
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The king and I previews thread #98
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:07am
Did the intermission run long?
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The king and I previews thread #99
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:08am
It seemed really long, yeah.
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The king and I previews thread #100
Posted: 3/13/15 at 10:09am
Ha, all I can think of is on Smash when Linda the Stage Manager had to get intermission down from 40 minutes to 15.