by Robert Rollin
The Ohio Light Opera’s June 22nd performance of The King and I was most enjoyable. The 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical sparkled in this well paced production filled with good singing, excellent blocking and acting, lovely costuming, fine sets, Jerome Robbins’ original choreography, and especially imaginative lighting, made all the more effective through use of backlit shadow puppets.
The King and I is a gem of a musical, though by no means without a few flaws. The presence of a mature widow and mother firmly loyal to her husband’s memory and actively engaged as a caring parent, centers the show, as does the King, a dominating personality who, nonetheless, wants to bring his country closer to the more enlightened Western culture.
This musical is over three hours long, and the lengthy “play within a play” with its succession of dances can sometimes drag a bit. The OLO’s production never flagged and the play on Uncle Tom’s Cabin moved quickly. [Read more…]