Since its Broadway debut in 1951, "The King and I" has been an enduring hit, and songs like "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello, Young Lovers," and "Something Wonderful" have become toe-tappingly familiar.
In Summerstock Productions' staging of the musical in Edmond, Billie Thrash directs and choreographs her sprawling cast with a sure hand and kinetic movement. She is helped visually by a stunning scene design by Chris Domanski and built entirely by Edmond students. Loaned by Oklahoma City University, the costumes dazzle, from Anna's famed hoop skirts to elegant, bejeweled Asian richness.
Kris Todd is wonderfully engaging as Anna and has the power to give full voice to her many solos. Hassan Nazari-Robati, while young for the role of the King, has great appeal and convinces, particularly in the second half.
In a cast of players too numerous to mention, other standouts include:
" Brett Rottmayer,
" Patricia McDaniel,
" Cade Nelson and
" Thomas Fleming.
As with many Summerstock shows, the chorus of children is winning and charming, as is the play within a play, "The Small House of Uncle Thomas," also nicely choreographed by Hui Cha Poos, making for a lovely and entertaining family evening under the stars. "Linda McDonald