Warren Players presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I" for the third time in its 82nd year history. The musical, which is playing October 25 28, is directed by Lynn Sears, who directed the last production in October of1989. Lynn's daughters who are assisting her this year, were five and eight years old when they appeared as children in the 1989 production. This year, Dawn Sears is the Assistant Director, and Laura Sears Baldensperger is choreographer for their mother's production.
The show tells the story of Anna Leonowens (Ellen Paquette), a widow, who travels to Thailand accompanied by her young son, Louis (Logan Johnson), to teach English to the children of the royal household. Anna embraces the role of teacher to the princes and princesses, (Ellie McCluskey, Sophia Spisak, Winnie Wolf, Megan McGuinness, Sydney Johnson, Grace Hagberg, Anne Schwanke, Jason Bonavita and Jaxon Knapp) and the wives of the King, (Dixie Brumagin, Kari Ewing, Sarah Myers, Samantha Hensley, Rebecca Wilson, Rebekah Casey, Sarah Roney, Abby Koebley and Rose Segel). But Anna is experiencing difficulty relating to the chauvinistic King (John Beard) and the Kralahome (Jeff Ewing) and at times is even chastised by the heir to throne, Prince Chulalongkorn (Marcus Bonavita), son of Number One wife, Lady Thiang (Barb Boger).
The king wants the best for his children, but Anna soon discovers that he is a strong-willed but impractical leader, and her stay in Thailand becomes a struggle for power with romantic overtones, as they decide who will have authority over the royal youngsters. The rift between Anna and the King continues over the newest wife, Tuptim (April Landin) and her love for Lun Tha (Beni Segel).
The cast of ‘The King and I’.
The struggles between the Eastern and the Western cultures collide and Anna is forced to make a difficult decision: leave Thailand with her convictions intact or stay to continue the work that has just begun. Ying Yaowalak (Ailsa Boger) is one of the King's daughters and extremely fond of Anna and heartbroken at the thought of losing her.
Rounding out the cast are Tom Devereaux (Captain Orton), Michael Sternberg (Phra Alack), Gary Brumagin (Sir Edward Ramsey) and Olivia Thompson, Alexis Streich, and Zachary Robertson.
"The King and I" opens Warren Players 82nd season. It will be presented at the Struthers Library Theatre on October 25-27 at 7 p.m. The Sunday, Oct. 28 performance will be at 2 p.m. This award-winning classic will take viewers on a journey of emotions, fill their head with Richard Rodger's memorable tunes and a heart-warming story told by Oscar Hammerstein's clever and tender lyrics.
For more show information, visit online at Warren Players/Struthers Library Theatre or call 723-7231.