Muny staff member Barb Echele shares her favorite memory from the 2012 summer season, the moving "Shall We Dance" scene from the classic THE KING AND I. Watch the clip below!
The seventh and final show of its 94th season was THE KING AND I, directed by Rob Ruggiero and choreographed by Ralph Perkins. Kevin Gray, playing The King of Siam, returned to The Muny after previously playing the Engineer in Miss Saigon (2001). Making her Muny debut as Anna Leonowens was Laura Michelle Kelly. Rounding out the cast were Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang, Joshua Dela Cruz as Lun Tha, and Alan Ariano as the Kralahome.
In The King and I, cultures collide as Anna struggles to find her place in the exotic Siamese world of beauty and grand tradition, ruled by a King whom she must learn to serve and understand.
The Muny’s production featured scenic design by Michael Schweikardt. Sound design was by Jason Krueger, lighting design by John Lasiter, and costume coordination by Robin McGee. Brad Haak served as the musical director, and the production stage manager was Harold Goldfaden.
Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) Broadway: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel). London’s West End: The original Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins - Olivier Award), My Fair Lady (Eliza), Speed The Plow (Karen), Lord of the Rings: The Musical (Galadriel), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Whistle Down the Wind (Swallow), Peter Pan (Wendy), Les Misérables (Eponine), Mamma Mia! (Sophie). Film: Sweeney Todd (Lucy and beggar woman, directed by Tim Burton), and the upcoming movie, Goddess (2012 Cannes Film Festival). Recipient: Awarded Voice of Musical Theatre. Numerous radio, TV and concert appearances including Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Opera House, Millennium Stadium, Buckingham Palace and last year she performed for President Obama for the 4th of July celebrations.
Kevin Gray (The King) Broadway, off-Broadway, national tours: The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, The King and I, A Little Night Music, Titanic, Jesus Christ Superstar, Show Boat, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chu Chem, Night of the Iguana, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Pacific Overtures, The Baker's Wife, The Death of Garcia Lorca, The Knife, and Lola. Regional: Oliver!, Evita, Man of La Mancha, Jekyll and Hyde, Funny Girl, Kismet, Irma La Douce, Threepenny Opera, The Fantasticks, Carousel, Romance Language, The Real Thing, Colorados, All's Well That Ends Well, Richard III, The Tempest, Macbeth. TV: Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Linc's, The Equalizer, Miami Vice, The Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and Ryan's Hope. He is married to Dodie Pettit, with whom he co-wrote the musical Dracula: the Covenant, and A Frog's Tale, a children’s musical audio book. Kevin serves on the faculty of Hartt School Theater Division of the University of Hartford.