DAYTON — Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” based on the 2015 Tony Award–winning Lincoln Center Theater production, makes its Dayton premiere this week at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center as part of Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series.
Performances run through Sunday. To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketcenterstage.com or call 888-228-3630. Ticket prices start at $26.
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, “The King and I” boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the king of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
In the words of Bartlett Sher, director of the 2015 Broadway production and the first national tour, “Great classics come back to us when we need them the most. In order to live up to the scale of its ambition, we have to go both backward and forward in time. It’s like having one foot in the past as deeply as we can, one foot in the present, and our eyes looking out as far ahead as we can to see how it resonates.”
The creative team for this new tour includes direction by Shelley Butler, based on Sher’s original direction, featuring sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lights by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer, musical supervision by Ted Sperling and casting by Jason Styres. Choreography by Tony Award-winner Christopher Gattelli has been recreated for this tour by Associate Choreographer Greg Zane, based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.
The production features the musical’s original 1951 orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennet, with dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.
Butler said, “Now feels like the perfect time to bring forward this powerful story with its depiction of clashing cultures and its journey toward understanding. It is a great pleasure to helm the tour with a dynamic cast of 33 actors, including an array of international company members. It is an honor and a privilege to continue the vision of Bartlett Sher and the brilliant Lincoln Center Theater creative team.”