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The (New) King and I

Published: July 22, 2014, 3:29 am, by David Sckolnik When the curtain rises, we expect great drama from the Opera Theatre of the Rockies. If only they could keep this highly valued commodity on the stage alone. I got a phone call today from Martile Rowland. She told me a story. It seems the prized-import for this weekend’s three performances of “The King and I” was enjoying his return to Colorado a bit too much. Ashraf Sewailam was here in town to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s king to life. On Saturday he “took off” from his bicycle after hitting a rock- flying over his handlebars. His hands did brace his fall, but both wrists broke. He is scheduled for surgery in Boulder on Wednesday and should be fine. But with less than a week before opening night, Siam had no leader. The role is the most important one in the show. Bring out a weak king and forget about a winning production. From all reports, Opera Theatre found a ringer. The show’s stage director Steven LaCosse knew a guy. He’ll be arriving late tonight via New York City and starts rehearsing tomorrow (Tuesday). So join the refrain all ye loyal subjects of the company and musical theatre: “Long live the King” – well at least through Sunday’s matinee finale. All hail a theatrical hero: Wayne Hu (waynehu.com). “King” Hu makes a living these days essentially from this role alone. For Rowland, who is producer of the show, it was the words spoken by Hu during the phone call to hire him that finally assuaged her anxiety over all the “drama.” “He told me ‘Martile you don’t have to worry about me. I got this.’” So let us all embrace our new monarch.

Bravo to all of our fantastic cast and chorus!

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 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I Music by Richard Rodgers Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Based on “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon Original Choreography by Jerome Robbins Presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals: www.rnh.com

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Photography by Mother Nature Photography