Theatre-at-Tusculum’s fall musical has become an event that audience members look forward to with great anticipation. After the successes of Wizard of Oz (2008) and Beauty and the Beast (2009), great care was taken by the Tusculum College Arts Outreach staff to choose a real crowd pleaser.
What could be more fun, more joyous, than a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical about a lovely, young English widow, a cantankerous but loveable chauvinist Siamese King, an exotic Burmese slave girl, gorgeous wives, graceful dancers, intimidating guards, melodic priests and a host of other fascinating and colorful characters? And don’t forget the twenty talented and utterly adorable princes and princesses, including two teeny tiny tots who are guaranteed to steal your heart away!
Beginning this weekend, an outstanding cast of more than 100 will bring “The King and I” to the stage in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. Performance dates are November 5-7 and 11-14. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will take place at 7 p.m. with the Sunday matinees on November 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.
The cast includes 10 Tusculum students and 12 working on the set or assisting in the box office. The leads will be portrayed by Will Maddux as the King, a role he portrayed as a high school student in a production by an Arts Outreach group, and Angela Willis as Anna Leonowens. The play is a family affair for the Willis family. Angela’s father, Michael Willis, a security officer at Tusculum, is playing a ship’s captain while her sister, Kassandra, is portraying Tuptim and her brother Walter has a singing priest role. And her brother, Nathan, is working on the set.
The cast also includes many veterans of Theatre-at-Tusculum productions including Robbie Poteete as Lun Tha, Amy Durand as Lady Thiang, Andrew Fisher as Louis, Joshua Davis as The Kralahome and Seth Holt as Sir Edward Ramsey.
This fabulous and glittering show, “The King and I” has unexpected depths. Adopted from “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon, the story tells of how Anna Leonowens and her young son Louis arrive at the Royal Palace of King Phra Meha Mongut to teach the royal children in the 1800s.
Political problems facing a small country and all the complications and cruelty of slavery are addressed. One of the highlights of the show includes a beautiful “ballet” entitled “Small House of Uncle Thomas” which has been adapted from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Choreographed by Kim Berry, this charming Siamese dance with accompanying chorus, will charm all who see it.
The show is directed by Tusculum Colleges’ Artist-in-Residence and Director of Arts Outreach Marilyn duBrisk. Angie Clendenon is music director, Frank Mengel, set design, Barbara Holt is weaving her magic to create more than 120 costumes for the production and Whitney Ball is accompanist. Percussion expert David Price joins the production this year and Jennifer Hollowell is in charge of box office.
Tickets are now on sale and may be reserved by calling 423-798-1620. If you have e-mailed previously for tickets and have not received a reply, please call. The campus is having e-mail difficulties and your e-mail may not have been received. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60 and over), and $5 for children 12 and under.