‘The King and I’: A glimpse into the Westernization of Siam

The musical’s plot revolves around the Westernization of Siam, proposed by the king of Siam, played by Philip Nauman, a senior. Anna Leonowens, played by senior Alex Hibbard-Brown, is a British school teacher brought from Wales to Siam by the king in order to provide the young children of Siam with Western ideas.

One of the greatest parts of the musical was the casting. Each character was extremely successful in portraying their roles. It was almost hard to remember that these actors are just high school students due to how mature they seemed and how great they portrayed their characters.

Two aspects of the musical that stood out and provided a better ambiance to the theater were both the props and the music. The stage crew did an outstanding job of creating backdrops and props to set the scene and allow the audience to feel like they had been transported to Siam. Likewise, the pit orchestra provided lively accompaniment to the lyrics and complimented the voices of the actors perfectly.

“The King and I,” typically regarded as a serious musical, was performed by the Theater Department with a sense of humor, which, needless to say, was unexpected by many audience members. The way that the students delivered their comedic lines with great humour  had many audience members laughing in their seats.

An actress who truly stood out to me was freshman Rachel Erdmann, who played the role of Lady Thiang. Erdmann portrayed this role extremely well and had the presence of a very experienced actress. Being only a freshman and being able to command the stage as well as she did is very impressive and should be commended.

“The King and I” was a great success for the Theater Department and a great way to spend the evening. Every student who was involved, as well as the staff members who filled roles such as directors, choreographers and designers, should be very proud. I have a great feeling that this is just the beginning for the 2017-18 performance season, and I can’t wait what else the Theater Department has to offer for the rest of this year.