Director Jewels: The King and I at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The King and I at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 


Elena Shaddow and the royal children in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

It's summer in Kansas City again, and that means that it's time to spend some evenings out under the stars at the iconic Starlight Theatre. Starlight has a lineup of many Broadway shows to entertain and astound you this year - and this week is your chance to catch the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Elena Shaddow as Anna Leonowens in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The King and I originally opened on Broadway in 1951 and played for nearly three years. It has since had many revivals, most recently at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, where the production won four Tony Awards in 2015.

Elena Shaddow, Baylen Thomas and Rhyees Stump in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

If you're not familiar with the story, here's the synopsis from Starlight Theatre:

One of  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works,  THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classis as "Getting To Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," "I Have Dreamed," 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.

Jose Llana and Elena Shaddow in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

This production, led by Jose Llana (The King of Siam) and Elena Shaddow (Anna Leonowens), is absolutely visually stunning to watch. It was not difficult to believe that we had left the Western world and entered into an unfamiliar, breathtaking place in Siam. The Tony-Award winning costume design by Catherine Zuber left me wishing I could touch each of the vibrant colors and rich textures of the fabrics used. I could have watch Anna dance in the "Shall We Dance?" ballgown for much longer than the song allowed!

The cast is strong and supports each other well. Overall, this production is well worth spending an evening under the stars for - and you will have missed something truly wonderful if you let it leave Kansas City before you've seen it!

Q Lim as Tuptim and Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Tickets for The King and I at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14+. Tickets are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

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