By Lia Chang
AsAmNews Arts and Entertainment Reporter
The King and I crew at the Vivian Beaumont Theater sure knows how to have a good time. The Tony Award winning revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved classic The King and I, directed by Bartlett Sher, stars Jose Llana as the King of Siam (through September 27th) and Tony winners Kelli O’Hara as Anna and Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang.
On Sunday night, the entire company donated their time and talent for their ninth performance of the week for The Actors Fund special performance. All proceeds from ticket sales directly benefited The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment. The group assists more than 17,000 people directly each year.
The King and I is the winner of four 2015 Tony Awards — Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Kelli O’Hara), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Ruthie Ann Miles), and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Catherine Zuber).
And what a glorious night it was to experience the show from Row D, cheering on so many of my colleagues who have made their Broadway debuts with this revival of The King and I. At intermission, I ran into Bartlett Sher, the director of The King and I, who was beaming like a proud Dad.
After the show, the hallways leading to the dressing rooms were jammed with a steady stream of well wishers, with Jose Llana, the current King of Siam, playing the perfect host in dressing room five. Check out my backstage coverage of the night.
Thank you Merle Frimark for taking me to see The King and I as an early birthday present.
Actors Fund Special Performances have been thrilling audiences for more than 80 years with an electric energy unlike any other night of theater. Each year, Broadway companies, in New York and on the road, generously give their time and talent by adding a performance to already rigorous schedules to benefit The Actors Fund. In order to make Special Performances possible, members of Actors’ Equity Association, Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM, Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and United Scenic Artists Union, waive their compensation to help The Actors Fund continue its vital work.
Serving professionals in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Actors Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has been-for 132 years-a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org
The King and I is performed Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday at 2pm and 8pm, Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are available at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65 Street), at telecharge.com, or by visiting KingandIBroadway.com. A limited number of tickets priced at $32 are available at every performance through LincTix, LCT’s program for 21 to 35 year olds. For information and to enroll, visit LincTix.org.
The King and I also features Ashley Park (as Tuptim), Conrad Ricamora (as Lun Tha), Edward Baker-Duly (as Sir Edward Ramsey), Jon Viktor Corpuz (as Prince Chulalongkorn), Murphy Guyer (as Captain Orton), Jake Lucas (as Louis), Paul Nakauchi (as Kralahome), and Marc Oka (as Phra Alack), and Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, LaMae Caparas, Hsin-Ping Chang, Andrew Cheng, Lynn Masako Cheng, Olivia Chun, Ali Ewoldt, Bonale Fambrini, Ethan Halford Holder, MaryAnn Hu, James Ignacio, Misa Iwama, Jim Kaplan, Christie Kim, Mindy Lai, Analisa Leaming, Q Lim, Kelvin Moon Loh, Sumie Maeda, Paul HeeSang Miller, Betsy Morgan, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Arisa Odaka, Kristen Faith Oei, Autumn Ogawa, Yuki Ozeki, Stephanie Jae Park, Bobby Pestka, Sam Poon, William Poon, Emilio Ramos, Brian Rivera, Bennyroyce Royon, Lainie Sakakura, Ann Sanders, Ian Saraceni, Julius Sermonia, Atsuhisa Shinomiya, Emily Stillings, Michiko Takemasa, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Rocco Wu, Xiaochuan Xie, Timothy Yang and Minami Yusui.
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.