Photo Flash: Inside Opening Night of THE KING AND I at Marriott Theatre

By: Oct. 31, 2014
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The romantic and richly textured tale of East versus West, THE KING AND I, is now playing at The Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL., where it opened on October 29, and will run through January 4, 2015. Nick Bowling (Juno and The Normal Heart at Timeline Theatre) makes his Marriott Theatre directorial debut with a fresh take on this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, merging history and romance with today's social and political issues. THE KING AND I takes audiences on an uplifting journey of the power of education as characters transform from instructor to students themselves, learning from one another in the process. In consultation with the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago, Bowling and Choreographer Tommy Rapley will explore ancient Siamese customs, dance and traditions, and bring them to life on stage.

Set against a dazzling and exotic backdrop of 19th century Siam, THE KING AND I follows the tumultuous relationship of the strong-willed British GovernessAnna (Jeff Award-nominee Heidi Kettenring) and the larger than life King of Siam (Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte), as they try to find common ground between Siamese and British traditions. In an attempt to modernize his country, the King seeks Anna's assistance in teaching his children and wives about Western culture. Conflicts arise, however, as both refuse to give up their respective traditions and values. As the story unfolds, Anna and the King grow to understand and respect one another, and ultimately, fall in love in a truly unique romance. THE KING AND I takes audiences through a captivating journey of music, dance and enchantment with timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein classics "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," and "Shall We Dance?"

THE KING AND I stars Heidi Kettenring as "Anna" (National Tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Broadway in Chicago's Wicked, the World Premiere of Hero at the Marriott Theatre), Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte as "The King of Siam" (2G's World Premiere of Galois The Musical; Macbeth at Lincoln Center/Clarke Studio Theater; NAATCO'S Obie Award-winning production of Awake And Sing; New York and U.S. premiere of Immaculate at La Mama, World Premiere of Bunty Berman Presents at The New Group), Megan Masako Haley as "Tuptim," Devin Ilaw as "Lun Tha," Kristen Choi as "Lady Thiang," Joseph Anthony Foranda as "Kralahome," Michael Semanic as "Louis Leonowens,"Matthew Uzarraga as "Prince Chulalongkorn", and Rod Thomas as "Sir Edward and Captain Orton." Also starring in the production are Alexis Aponte, Audrey Billings, W. Blaine Brown, Nicholas Dantes, Jasmine Ejan, Lilly S. Fujioka,Monique Haley, Raymond Interior, Jillian Jocson, Scott Alan Jones, Dylan M. Lainez, Rika Nishikawa, Sayiga Eugene Peabody, Hanna Savella, Scott Shimizu, Yu Suzuki, Rose Le Tran, Zachary Uzarraga, Janelle Villas, and Sophia Woo.

THE KING AND I production team is led by the Marriott Theatre's Lead Artistic Director Andy Hite. Set Design is byTom Ryan, Costume Design by Nancy Missimi, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, Sound Design by Bob Gilmartin and Properties Design by Sally Weiss; with Dialect Coach Jill Walmsley Zager.

Photos Courtesy of The Marriott Theatre and Mark Campbell Photography