© 2021 WYPR
20th Anniversary Background
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WYPR 106.9 Eastern Shore will be at low power during the day until further notice. Streams are available.

Rousuck's Review: "The King and I" at The Hippodrome Theatre

pedro_ka_awaloa_as_the_king_of_siam._photo_by_matthew_murphy..jpg
Photo by Matthew Miller
/

It's Thursday on Midday, and time for another of J. Wynn Rousuck's weekly reviews of regional theater.  Today, she spotlights the new traveling revival of The King and I.  The new show is based on the 2015 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production, and it's now on stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre.

The fifth of the many great musicals by the collaborative team of Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist), The King and I was adapted from Margaret Landon's novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which itself drew on the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s.  Anna is a British schoolteacher hired to teach in Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand), as part of the King's drive to modernize his country.  Anna and the King form a tense and complicated relationship: a clash of West and East as much as a love neither believes they can acknowledge.

The King and I world-premiered on Broadway in 1951, with a young TV actor named Yul Brynner playing the King -  a role he would dominate on stage and screen for the next three decades.  The musical's score is replete with such enduring classics as “Getting To Know You,”“I Whistle a Happy Tune,”“Hello Young Lovers,”“Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.”  The play ran for nearly three years, making it the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history at the time, and it's had many tours and revivals since.  

angela_baumgardner-kingandi.jpg
Credit Photo by Matthew Murphy
/
Angela Baumgardener as Anna in THE KING AND I

The creative team for the new touring revival includes direction by Shelly Butler, based on Bartlett Sher’s original direction, and features performances by Pedro Ka'awaloa as the King of Siam and Angela Baumgardner as Anna Leonowens.  Choreography is by Christopher Gattelli, based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

The King and I continues at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre through Sunday, February 24.

Audio of this program will be available by 5pm today.

J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.