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‘The King and I’ Delights Austin Crowds

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Austin theater has been known to host some fabulously powerful reinventions of some of the classics in recent years. Think, “Cinderella” and “A Christmas Carol”. Both classic stories modernized to suite a crowd eager for a new version of the same beloved story. “The King and I”, which debuted in December, delighted audiences that like the tried and true cohesion of an original. The story followed the original script, the songs remained intact, and the audience could count on the same juxtaposition of eastern and western cultures clashing, and then finding common ground. Audiences appreciated hearing, “Getting to Know You”, the perhaps most recognizable song sung to the king’s children during the show.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

The costumes and actors wonderfully took on the time period and further developed the visual contrast of cultures and philosophies. Lovers of “The King and I” were pleased to watch the story unfold of a teacher sent to instruct the many children of a great king, who dares to challenge a patriarchal leader and culture. By the end, we saw a king that had softened perhaps slightly, and the subtle hints at what crowds had to decipher were either a deep appreciation and respect or, perhaps, unrequited love.

No musical is complete without song and dance, and “The King and I” did not disappoint. At one point there was a show within the show, an eastern drama that wowed with theatrical dance and choreography.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

If you have not seen a show in Austin, perhaps that could be a New Year’s resolution. Austinites and surrounding communities are privileged to have excellent venues and to be dazzled by a consistent selection of exquisite theater. The 2018 season will be no different!