By Emily Weaver
The MVNU drama troupe debuted Roger and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” on opening night, Thursday, April 28. The musical will be running for an additional weekend on May 5-7 at 8 p.m. in the Thorne Performance Hall in the R.R. Hodges Chapel Building.
You might be expecting a performance akin to that of the 1956 feature film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, but this group of actors has made the famous musical come to life with its own touch and lively cast of characters.
Senior public relations major Lauren Smith is the assistant technical director on set. Smith describes a short summary of the familiar story.
“The play deals with Anna, an English schoolteacher who comes to Siam to teach his [the King of Siam’s] children. Anna comes with her son to live on the palace grounds but is not given what she is promised,” Smith said.
“Anna tries to deal with a difficult king who will not listen to her. She becomes attached to the children and begins a friendship with Tuptim, a slave given to the king.
“Tuptim dreams of running away with her love, and Anna tries to console her. The king is dealing with people saying he is a barbarian so he decides to ‘westernize’ and show the English that he is not a barbarian.
“The play is a story of friendship between the king and Anna as they try to exist together with different views,” Smith said.
Andrew Pugh stars in the lead role as the King of Siam alongside Alicia Brooks and McKenzie Vaughn, who share the role as Anna Leonowens.
The spring musical is directed by Virginia Cameron, assistant professor of music, and it is produced by Dr. Dan Behr, professor of communication.
Aaron Behr serves as the assistant director for the production and Jenn Krell as the assistant musical director. Samantha Turner is the technical director for the musical.
Smith also expressed that students and families alike should come see the production.
“It’s a story that everyone is familiar with. There are beautiful costumes and wonderful singing. It really is a good time for everyone,” Smith said. “Children will enjoy the dancing and seeing the kids I think. It’s something that a whole family can enjoy together.”
Tickets for the musical are $7 per person and can be reserved by calling (740) 397-9000, ext. 1620.
Tickets are also available at the door.