Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I begins performances tonight. Paolo Montalban and Kate Baldwin star in the title roles. Directed by Lee Blakeley, the production will run through May 22.
The principal company also includes Ali Ewoldt (Tuptim), Alan Ariano (the Kralahome), Rona Figueroa (Lady Thiang), Sam Simahk (Lun Tha), Charlie Babbo (Louis Leonowens), Jomar Ferreras (Interpreter), John Lister (Captain Orton), David Parkes (Sir Edward Ramsay), Peter Sipla (Phra Alack), and Matthew Uzarraga (Prince Chulalongkorn).
Blakeley's production originated at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet in 2014. Inspired by Margaret Landon's novel Anna and the King of Siam, The King and I features music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Set in 1860s Bangkok, the story follows the relationship of British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam, who employs her as a tutor for his many wives and children.