‘The King and I’ goes onstage in the Bay Area

‘The King and I’ goes onstage in the Bay Area

Fil-Am artists Brian Rivera and Joan Almedilla take lead roles

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King & I” goes onstage at the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose from February 20-25.  The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and has won four 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

“The King and I” is one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, and boasts a musical score which 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 Bangkok in the 1860’s, 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.

Headlining as the King of Siam for part of the performances is Bay Area native and Filipino-American Brian Rivera.   Born and raised in Sacramento, Rivera has a drama degree from San Francisco State.

Aside from being in the cast of “The King and I,” Rivera has also performed in a number of stage productions such as “The Orphan of Zhao,” and “Major Barbara” with the American Conservatory Theater; “American Night” and “Hamlet” with California Shakespeare Theater.  He also has appeared on TV shows like “Trauma” and “Cuff Me If You Can.”

Rivera will be playing the King of Siam on February 20, 24 and 25, and is also performing as the Kralahome.

Another Fil-Am artist in the cast is Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang, who is also no stranger to Broadway, as she has starred as Kim in the musical “Miss Saigon,” and Fantine on the Third National Tour of “Les Miserables.”  She also starred as Imelda Marcos in “Here Lies Love,” at Carnegie Hall.

Joining Rivera and Almedilla are Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna Leonowens, Darren Lee as the Kralahome, Q Lim as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha, Anthony Chan as Prince Chulalongkorn, Rhyees Stump as Louis Leonowens and Patrick Boll as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey.

Presented as part of the Broadway San Jose, “The King and I” will be onstage until February 25 at the Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd. in San Jose.    Schedule performances are:  Thursday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 23 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 24 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, February 25 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Single tickets are $48-$128 and on sale online at www.ticketmaster.com, in-person at the City National Civic Box Office (150 W. San Carlos St., San Jose) or by calling 800-982-ARTS (2787).

For more information, please visit www.thekinganditour.com. (AJPress)

*On cover:

Top left:  Michiko Takemasa as Little Eva.

Top right: Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang.

Middle:  The cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” 

Bottom:  Q Lim as Tuptim and Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha. (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

All other photos by Matthew Murphy

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