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The King and I previews thread - Page 8

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Auggie27
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The king and I previews thread #176
Posted: 3/14/15 at 10:46am
My guess is: this is in part -- in part, underscore -- a problem built into moving from the relative size and security of the rehearsal room into the cavernous Beaumont. I know both actors and directors who can vouch for this. To some degree it happens to every play or show. And, if English is not this actor's first language, the concessions one's ear (the director's and others seated at a table) makes to diction and phrasing in close quarters do not automatically serve once the performance has a considerable aesthetic distance between actor and auditor. The work now has to be focused on building a clear, discernible performance that fits that particular stage and house. The diction work "should" have been done; yet it was not. I doubt it's too late. But it needs to be very much site-specific, so that the performance fills that house.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Updated On: 3/14/15 at 10:46 AM
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The king and I previews thread #177
Posted: 3/14/15 at 10:47am
I love Kelli too, in the right role. When she is miscast, she can be very dull, so I am thrilled to hear how good everyone thinks she is. It will be a tight Tony race, between Chita, Kristin and Kelli, no clear winner here. Let's wait until THE VISIT opens to get a better sense of how this will play out.

And regardless of anything else, no one NEEDS to be familiar with THE KING AND I before seeing it. That sort of statement is ridiculous. Yes, it's one of R&H's best and most popular shows, but it hasn't been done in New York since the late 90s, so come on, give people a break and let them discover it for themselves.

And if Watanabe's diction doesn't improve, it will be a true shame. And yes, why wasn't Jose Llana considered for The King? Just saw his show at the Kaplan penthouse at LC, and he was amazing. Funny and strong and sexy, and probably could have been a great foil for Kelli. Hopefully, Sher and company will consider him for Ken's replacement or a national tour. Btw, he was Lun Tha in the last Broadway production, and he was great.
ebontoyan
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The king and I previews thread #178
Posted: 3/14/15 at 11:02am
Sounds like I am skipping this one too for my May lineup (I am already skipping An American in Paris) No interest to start with and reading through the threads solidify the decision. Ha I may end up watching Les Miz (for the 16th time) and Kinky Boots (4th time) again which will not be so bad! I already got tix for On the Twentieth Century (2nd visit) and Something Rotten

Updated On: 3/14/15 at 11:02 AM
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The king and I previews thread #179
Posted: 3/14/15 at 11:17am
I'm seeing this tonight. If anyone wants to know about the boat, PM me, and I will gladly tell you about it.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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The king and I previews thread #180
Posted: 3/14/15 at 2:28pm
"And to the poster who insinuated that Renshaw didn't trust or respect the material, that's ridiculous. He told the story beautifully, honoring the authors' original intentions every step of the way. Yes, he made a couple cuts (at the bequest of the producer) but nothing that compromised the material. As for Wang, he had such respect for FDS that he wanted to breathe new life into it with his adaptation. The musical most likely wouldn't work today in its original form and he was on a rescue mission. Not everything landed in his revisal but it certainly had some arresting moments and smart ideas."

First of all, I didn't hate it, I thought for a production that changes some things, it was actually decent. But when you have the King and Anna to almost kiss after "Shall We Dance", that's where want to say "NO!"; that is what a second rate director/playwright would do for such a production that does somewhat disrespects the integrity that Oscar Hammerstein II put his all into by having the two to be attracted on an intellectual level that grows into one of the greatest sexually charged moments in theater history that is very sublte and you would never need to add anything at all. And please don't defend Hawng's God-forsaken, amateurish, and not to mention horrifyingly revised version of FLOWER DRUM SONG, that was trying to be something it was not and it's tragic for the effort the production put into. It was such a huge misfire and critical flop that the organization allows both the original book and the revised one to be used and I've seen a production that uses the original book and everyone in the theater that night loved it. So the original book still works and David Henry Hawng, for all of his wonderful talents, didn't need to go though such trouble to update it.

BTW: Did the boat really made the audience literally gasp? I've never heard a gasp inducing theater story like that since the audience gasped at the LOVELAND transformation in the original production of FOLLIES. Sher and his production team are on to something alright.
Updated On: 3/14/15 at 02:28 PM
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The king and I previews thread #181
Posted: 3/14/15 at 2:32pm

It's still hard to grasp what is going on. Bartlett Sher coming off his South Pacific triumph, with the most anticipated production of the year and the surest thing since Clinton vs. Dole, possibly committing a top five Broadway blunder.

It's not like it's not that important to the show that the King can be understood. His speech drives most of the humor in it and makes The King and I much brighter than it would be if the king were just a somber autocrat. Was Wantanabe auditioned?

Was Professor Higgins alive in London at the time? Perhaps he could also be on the boat with Anna and could help the king out in the diction thing.

People like the music that they grew up with during their formative years. Many late-stage boomers still listen to the 60s oldies shows religiously, like Cousin Brucie on Sirius Saturday nights sounding the same as he did fifty years ago.

Probably a third to a half of the posters here would put Sondheim over Rodgers. What matters is if, when you are exposed to the best entertainment of the earlier era, you grow to appreciate it. I never had a particularly good impression of Sinatra until I began to hear his work in the 50s, working with the finest arrangers and orchestras, who could be as important to the popularity of a song as the singer. I also heard people like Ella and Billie and Nat Cole and the Duke and Basie. But I never lost my love for my generations' music.

Kelli O'Hara is pretty amazing. She doesn't go out to Hollywood to use prime vocal years appearing in the usual forgettable TV series and mediocre films. Despite having two children during the period, she just keeps going from show to show without regard for genre, and she delivers ninety percent of the time. She can act.

So it's Pajama Game to Piazza to South Pacific to Encore's Bells are Ringing to Nice Work to Madison County to The Merry Widow to her present role. Yet she still performs for the City Center Gala, the Roundabout Gala, a two night holiday concert at Carnegie Hall with Mathew Morrison, and the upcoming in May New York Pops Gala. And I probably left something out.
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The king and I previews thread #182
Posted: 3/14/15 at 2:35pm
Do you all think it's going to be a Anna is the star of the show while the King is a good support to her kind of a production?
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The king and I previews thread #183
Posted: 3/14/15 at 2:42pm
Kelli O'Hara is pretty amazing. She doesn't go out to Hollywood to use prime vocal years appearing in the usual forgettable TV series and mediocre films. Despite having two children during the period, she just keeps going from show to show without regard for genre, and she delivers ninety percent of the time. She can act.

I can't help but think this that the above comment is a pretty pointed criticism against another person who is also a strong contender for a Tony this year.

Updated On: 3/14/15 at 02:42 PM
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The king and I previews thread #184
Posted: 3/14/15 at 4:30pm
I was surprised to read in one of the interviews with Kelli O'Hara that she had never seen a production or the film version of The King and I. There's obviously nothing wrong with being unfamiliar with any show in the musical theater canon, regardless of perceived popularity or importance, but I was especially surprised that someone who often rhapsodizes on the beauty of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals (and laments the death of the Golden Age of Broadway sound) was unfamiliar with one of their more frequently-produced shows.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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The king and I previews thread #185
Posted: 3/14/15 at 4:41pm
Just took a listen to "Shall We Dance" from last night's performance, and while it wasn't perfect My Fair Lady sort of diction, the King wasn't terribly hard to understand. When he starts to get excited ("Teach! Teach! Teach!) part of the number, his words slide together, and just sounds like noise. So, this one seems interesting. Be very interested to hear "Puzzlement".

Also, isn't Anna always suppose to be the star of the show, and then it wasn't until many of the later revivals, that it made The King the star because it was Yul Brynner? By the way, a 2003 Stratford Festival production here in Canada did an amazing "King and I with Victor Talmadge and directed by Susan H. Schulman. There was a great reveal of Bangkok/the palace that will always have me in awe.
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The king and I previews thread #186
Posted: 3/14/15 at 5:41pm
I also didn't find him that difficult to understand in the clip and the audio quality isn't even that great. I would imagine the clarity of a studio recording will make it easier to understand him even more so than the acoustics of the theatre allow.
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The king and I previews thread #187
Posted: 3/14/15 at 6:23pm
^ Clip?
Someone post please?
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The king and I previews thread #188
Posted: 3/14/15 at 6:33pm
Robbie2, check you PM
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
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The king and I previews thread #189
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:05pm
^ :)
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The king and I previews thread #190
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:13pm
So was there some kind of contract that each audience member had to sign regarding the disclosure of details about the boat to members of the public?
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The king and I previews thread #191
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:23pm
Why does everything exciting HAVE to be spoiled? If you are curious, just ask someone to PM you the spoiler.
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The king and I previews thread #192
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:26pm
I have. Several times. Is it that big of a deal? It's an online message board.
jimmycurry01
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The king and I previews thread #193
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:46pm
Most people here may not actually make it to the city to see this while it is running, that is why they want it spoiled. If someone here doesn't tell them, they may never know what made it so cool.
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The king and I previews thread #194
Posted: 3/14/15 at 7:54pm
Exactly, I most likely won't get back to NY to see this show at all, and I've always been fascinated by those moments on a stage where something so incredible in terms of physical production can make an audience gasp in disbelief.

Now, if only the internet would offer some type of online forum where people could discuss the details of Broadway shows... Some type of website perhaps... Maybe one that offers a glimpse into the world of Broadway... The broadway world if you will...
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The king and I previews thread #195
Posted: 3/14/15 at 8:33pm
After listening to the "Shall We Dance" audio; I could hear Watanabe perfectly fine. I don't know if I've been used to him in films or what but I thought it was fine, not Yul Brynner perfect but very fine. He does sound like he has command on stage which would matter more than anything.

Has the keys been raised a little bit for Kelli's voice range? It sounds a tiny bit higher than the original keys.
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The king and I previews thread #196
Posted: 3/14/15 at 9:20pm
"Probably a third to a half of the posters here would put Sondheim over Rodgers."

You have GOT to be kidding. Truly, you have GOT to be kidding. Yes, I know that there are some brainwashed and/or brainwashing and/or hopeless and/or corrosive and/or corroded individuals here--- but surely nowhere near THAT many!

************SPOILER ALERT REGARDING BOAT EFFECT *************



************ DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WISH TO KNOW ABOUT BOAT EFFECT!!!! ***********







The boat moves forward from the stage and the prow extends over a part of the audience.

It's striking, but really, it isn't the eighth wonder of the world.

Updated On: 3/14/15 at 09:20 PM
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The king and I previews thread #197
Posted: 3/14/15 at 9:25pm
Next we'll hear that posters here would put LaChiusa over Mozart. I wouldn't be surprised.
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The king and I previews thread #198
Posted: 3/14/15 at 9:32pm
I really wish the two of you would go straight to hell.
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After Eight
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The king and I previews thread #199
Posted: 3/14/15 at 9:33pm
"Next we'll hear that posters here would put LaChiusa over Mozart. I wouldn't be surprised."

Nor would I. Actually, one of the most loquacious and self-satisfied posters here already put him on a par with Gershwin; so we're well on our way.

Of course, for the Sondheim brigade, the matchless one left Mozart in his wake a long time ago.
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The king and I previews thread #200
Posted: 3/14/15 at 9:42pm
Thank God Namo is here to keep logic in this conversation.
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