Tuesday, January 13, 2015

reviews THE KING AND I Arizona Broadway Theatre

For more information on this production that runs through February 15, click here.

 "In this colorful and vibrant looking production, Alan Ariano as the King is remarkable for one simple reason.   Within the first couple of minutes of meeting him, the actor marks his ground.   With an imposing presence and a commanding delivery of lines, whatever daunting shadow Yul Brynner may usually cast over any production of The King and I is here all but gone.   Ariano is the king.  As Anna, Jill Tieskoetter brings that somewhat reserved yet determined manner effectively to the forefront. She’s a pleasure to watch.   The weakest element tends to be the orchestra.   Here, the complex and often thorny musical arrangements with a flair for the Orient tend to miss the fullness of something much larger required for the score.   Yet at the same time what doesn’t work so well during the instrumentals is perfectly fine when accompanying the songs.  The King and I is Arizona Broadway Theatre’s first musical of 2015 and it’s a grand way to start the New Year." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"Presenting excellent productions of classic musicals is something that Arizona Broadway Theatre prides itself on, and their latest offering is no exception. With superb leads, a great supporting cast, and lush creative aspects, their colorful and rich production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I is simply stunning.   Both Alan Ariano and Jill Tieskoetter are more than capable of delivering the required nuanced layers of the King and Anna. Both are stubborn and steadfast at first but realize how the other might actually help them change for the better.  They are both exceptional.   Director Andy Meyers has expertly instructed his cast to create meaningful, genuine relationships. From the way Lady Thiang speaks and sings about her husband to the way Anna and the King's constantly changing relationship evolves, and even how the King treats his many children in a loving way, each cast member delivers an emotional connection.   ABT's The King and I is a class act production of this classic musical." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"Arizona Broadway Theatre's production of this classic musical, directed by Andy Meyers, is a fine spectacle, enriched by Jim Hunter's exotic set and Kelsey Ettman's stunning costumes.  Alan Ariano has made the King's role his own, complete with emphatic gestures and vocalization. He captures the internal struggle of the autocrat with one foot in the past and one foot tiptoeing into an uncertain future ~ of the King who can turn on a dime from enthusiastic student to tyrant, from vulnerability to cruelty.  While Jill Tieskoetter brings an elegant bearing and a sturdy voice to her role as Anna, hers is a more by-the-numbers performance. She does not convey the nuances of emotion that would make Anna's and the King's emerging love believable and thus the audience more sympathetic to the musical's denouement." -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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