‘The King and I’ Comes to Capitol Theatre in Wheeling

Cast members Angela Baumgardner as Anna Leonowens and Pedro Ka’awaloa as the King of Siam appear in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

WHEELING — The national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” based on the 2015 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater Production, will make its Wheeling premiere at The Capitol Theatre for one show only on Monday, April 29, as part of the Bordas & Bordas Broadway at the Capitol Series.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, “The King and I” boasts a score that 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 1860s 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.

In the words of Bartlett Sher, director of the 2015 Broadway production and the first national tour, “Great classics come back to us when we need them the most. In order to live up to the scale of its ambition, we have to go both backward and forward in time. It’s like having one foot in the past as deeply as we can, one foot in the present, and our eyes looking out as far ahead as we can to see how it resonates.”

A Tony Award-winning director, Sher was reunited for “The King and I” with the award-winning creative team from the Lincoln Center Theater productions of “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza.” The creative team for this new tour includes direction by Shelley Butler, based on Sher’s original direction, featuring sets by Michael Yeargan (Tony Award winner for “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza”), costumes by Catherine Zuber (seven-time Tony Award winner, including “The King and I”), lights by Donald Holder (Tony Award winner for “South Pacific” and “The Lion King”), sound by Scott Lehrer (Tony Award winner for “South Pacific”), musical supervision by Ted Sperling and casting by Jason Styres, CSA. Choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies”) has been recreated for this tour by Associate Choreographer Greg Zane, based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

The production features the musical’s original 1951 orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennet with dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.

Butler said, “Now feels like the perfect time to bring forward this powerful story with its depiction of clashing cultures and its journey toward understanding. It is a great pleasure to helm the tour with a dynamic cast of 33 actors, including an array of international company members. It is an honor and a privilege to continue the vision of Bartlett Sher and the brilliant Lincoln Center Theater creative team.”

To purchase tickets to “The King and I,” presented in association with NETworks Presentations LLC, visit capitoltheatrewheeling.com, call 304-233-4470 or visit the WesBanco Arena Box Office.

For more information, including the 2018-19 touring schedule, please visit TheKingAndITour.com or visit the tour’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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