It was announced earlier this year that Paolo Montalban would be set as the lead for the King and I alongside Tony Award-nominee Kate Baldwin. This is a breath of fresh air after news of Hollywood’s plans to whitewash Asian characters in major studio films. It’s great to see that the theater is taking the chance on Asian leads in their major productions like The King and I.
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s The King and I April 29-May 22 at the Civic Opera House. The cast also includes Ali Ewoldt (Tuptim), Alan Ariano (The Kralahome), and Rona Figueroa (Lady Thiang), along with Sam Simahk (Lun Tha) and Chicagoland artists 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).
The all-Chicagoland children’s ensemble comprises Sophie Mieko Ackerman, Alexis Aponte, Lilly Fujioka, Avonlea Hong, Leila Koss, Evangelyn Lee, Liliana Martens, Lucy Martens, Rika Nishikawa, Ana Joy Rowley-Mathews, Benedict Santos Schwegel, A’naam Singh, Zachary Uzarraga and Sophia Woo.
The creative team also includes costume designer Sue Blane, scenic designer Jean-Marc Puissant, lighting designer Rick Fisher, sound designer Mark Grey and chorus master Michael Black.
For more information visit lyricopera.org/king.