There are others in the cast who deserve mention. It was nice to see Glen Shiroma, whom I have seen and in fact worked with, in the role of the Kralahome, the King’s right hand man. Glen plays him with dignity, strength, and feeling. Janelle Velasquez and Joseph Andreas play the star-crossed lovers Tuptim and Lun Tha. They both have terrific voices and great beauty. My favorite performer was Annie Nepomuceno as the King’s number one wife, Lady Thiang. She sings “Something Wonderful” with great sensitivity and also has a gorgeous voice.
What struck me most of all this time, viewing The King And I again, was the social consciousness of both Rodgers and Hammerstein. This story of a clash of cultures, with its appeal to understanding, its awareness that faith and science must strike a balance, and the universality of its message as it echoes through time, is still contemporary and relevant today. A message of love and acceptance is always part of any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, whether running across cultures (The King And I and South Pacific), between the sexes, or between lovers and the world. It is not only their music that made them the great musical theatre writers that they are universally recognized to be. It is also their great humanism.
The King And I runs at Cabrillo Music Theatre until Oct 26th.