The King and I
by J*Company
J*Company continues their season of Rodgers and Hammerstein with The King and I, featuring another strong score with such hits as Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance?, and Something Wonderful. And Director Joey Landwehr pulls out all the stops with this big, bold production.

The story is based on Margaret Landon’s novel Anna and the King of Siam, which itself is based on real-life teacher Anna Leonowens, a British woman who went to Siam (now Thailand) to tutor the king’s children and concubines during the 1860s. The script and music create one of the greatest relationships in musical theatre between Lady Anna and The King.

Creating that relationship on the J*Company stage are long-time J*Company veterans Ali Viterbi and Daniel Myers. Ali delivers a beautiful performance with lovely singing (and with a nice British accent), a charming playfulness as she is won over by the king’s children in Getting to Know You, good understated humor, a deeply romantic soul (Hello Young Lovers), and with her complicated relationship to the king. In which role Daniel is brilliant, shining in the challenging Puzzlement scene as he troubles over his responsibilities, using voice and physicality to remarkable effect, and inhabiting the role mind, body, and soul. And with his hair, which he had shaved off to raise cancer awareness, an effort joined in by newly bald Joey Landwehr and used to help raise more than $5,000 for Rady Children’s Hospital.

Elsewhere, Hana Pak and Zachary Herzog are earnest young lovers Tuptim and Lun Tha with good vocals, Gabriela Lipson delivers a poignant Something Wonderful as she describes her husband and king who often fails but tries, and Ian Laughbaum as an over-the-top former flame of Anna. The ensemble shine in such scenes as Getting to Know You and as dancers in a fantastic reenactment of Small House of Uncle Thomas led by Hana Pak and featuring Danielle Levin as Eliza, Scott Peterson as the furious Simon of Legree, Maddie Houts as Topsey, and the graceful and stunning Ashley Lynch as the Angel, choreographed masterfully by Deven P. Brawley.

Director Joey Landwehr’s show is a hit in all areas – strong acting, an excellent live orchestra, and a visually lavish production. Beautiful costumes by Shulamit Nelson are highlighted by the gorgeous creations used in the Uncle Thomas play within a play, and magnificent sets by David Wiener help kick the show off as the enormous prow of the ship Anna sails in on opens to transform into the palace within she will soon reside and cause all sorts of difficulty.

Performs December 3 - 13, 2009

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

The King: Daniel Myers
Lady Anna: Ali Viterbi
Louis: Conrad Mazur
Tuptim: Hana Pak
Luna Tha, Guard and Budah: Zachary Herzog
Lady Thiang: Gabriela Lipson
Prince Chululongkorn and Uncle Thomas: Joshua Shtein
The Kralahome and Lover George: Walfred Rodas
Captain Orton and Sir Edward Ramsey: Ian Laughbaum
Phra Alack: Cameron Chang
Princess Ying Yaowlak: Rebecca Penner
Eliza: Danielle Levin
Simon of Legree and The Interpreter: Scott Peterson
The Angel: Ashley Lynch
Mischief Maker Topsey: Maddie Houts
Blessed Little Eva: Gabriella Leibowitz

~ Royal Wives ~
Wife #1: Hannah Houts
Wife #8: Kaydon Schanberger
Wife #9: Jesse Carpentier
Anna Barberio
Kendal Dastrup
Maddie Houts
Danielle Levin
Danielle Levy
Ashley Lynch
Lynda Morris
Aubrey Niegocki
Samantha Tullie
Gabrielle Quiwa

~ Royal Children ~
1st Prince: Nathan Miller
1st Princess: Gabriella Leibowitz
2nd Princess: Talia Israel
Gabriella Boresi
Cameron Chang
Mikayla Chang
Daniella Datnow
Rachel Friedman
Osher Kochav Lev
Madison Leone
Isabella Leung
Melanie Leung
Megan Levan
Erin Love
Ilana Mereminsky
Max Mereminsky
Hannah Rodriguez
Rachel Rozenfeld
Eli Rubenstein
Jessica Samuels
Charlotte Scurlock
Megan Spector
Jackie Tullie
Gavriela Weitzman
Sara Wolfkind

~ Singers for the Ballet ~
Jesse Carpentier
Kendal Dastrup
Rachel Friedman
Hannah Houts
Gabriela Lipson
Lynda Morris
Aubrey Niegocki
Kaydon Schanberger
Samantha Tullie

~ Dancers for the Ballet ~
Anna Barberio
Cameron Chang
Mikayla Chang
Zachary Herzog
Ali Viterbi
Ian Laughbaum
Gabriella Leibowitz
Danielle Levy
Erin Love
Gabrielle Quiwa
Walfred Rodas
Joshua Shtein

~ Orchestra ~
Musical Direction / Key Board: Jason Chase
Violin: Myla K. Wingard
Violin II: Ben Graubart
Viola: Bryce Newall
Viola II: Alex Wong
Cello: Amanda Laborete
Bass: Peter Proud Madruga
Harp: Stefan Wendel
Oboe: Amy Kalal
Flute/Piccolo: Siera Deardorff
Clarinet: Matt Best
Clarinet II: Steven Feiler
Trumpet: Russ Mitchell
Trombone: Ken Wharton
French Horn: Michelle Allee
Percussion: Fred Allee

Director: Joey Landwehr
Musical Director: Jason Chase
Choreographer: Deven P. Brawley
Stage Manager: Jamie Gillcrist
Lighting Designer: Omar Ramos
Sound Designer: Peter Carpentier
Costume Designer: Shulamit Nelson
Set Designer: David Weiner
Technical Director: Chris Plonka


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