LA MIRADA — McCoy Rigby Entertainment presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” from April 21 to May 14 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada.
Directed by Glenn Casale, with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, “The King and I” is regarded as one of the greatest musicals from the golden age of Broadway – adored by the public and critics alike – with one of the finest scores ever written, including “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Getting to Know You,” and “Shall We Dance?”
Set in the 1860s, “The King and I” is based on the true story of Anna Leonowens, a widowed schoolteacher from Wales who travels to Siam to teach the King’s many children. Her effect on the kingdom and the kingdom’s effect on her are the basis of this classic musical.
Paul Nakauchi as the The King, Anastasia Barzee as Anna, and Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang head the cast of 41.
An L.A. native, Nakauchi has worked in many facets of the entertainment industry. He began his career in the ensemble of the “King and I’ with the legendary Yul Brynner. He was in the 1996 revival with Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips and two years later he ascended to the throne of the “King” on London’s West End starring opposite Elaine Paige. Most recently he finished a year-and-a-half run of the 2016 Tony Award-winning revival directed by Bart Sher as the Kralahome, with Ken Watanabe and Tony Award winners Kelli Ohara and Ruthie Ann Miles.
His other theater credits include the first national tour of “Miss Saigon” and the world premiere of “Allegiance” at the Old Globe in San Diego, where he played Tatsuo Kimura. Most recently he was seen in the American premiere of Francis Turnley’s play the “Great Wave” at Berkeley Rep.
Nakauchi has voiced numerous animated characters, including Wong in Marvel’s “Dr Strange,” Hutch in Lionsgate’s “Alpha and Omega,” Sifo Dyas in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” as well as numerous video games, such as “Game of Thrones,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria,” “Diablo III ” (as the Grim Reaper), and Blizzard’s most popular game, “Overwatch” (as the samurai archer Hanzo).
In Netflix’s “Carmen Sandiego’s” third season, he re-created his role of the spy instructor turned Carmen’s partner in sleuthing, Shadowsan. His TV credits include “ER,” “Star Trek: Deep Space 9” and Hulu’s “Deadbeat.” His film credits include “The Great Raid” and the Netflix American adaptation of “Death Note,” in which he played Watari.
“The King and I” also features Alan Ariano as The Kralahome, Eric Badiqué as Phra Alack, Richard Bulda as The Interpreter, Cristyn Dang as Simon of Legree, Arielle Dettmer as Angel George, Emma Gong-Koiso as Princess Ying Yaowalak, Luke Naphat as Prince Chulalongkorn, Ethan Le Phong as Lun Tha, Michael Rothhaar as Captain Orton, Callula Sawyer as Topsy, Oliver Stewart as Louis Leonowens, Angel Srittmater as Little Eva, Kevin Symons as Sir Edward Ramsey, Chad Takeda as Uncle Thomas, Michiko Takemasa as Eliza, and Paulina Yeung as Tuptim.
The ensemble will feature Johnisa Breault, Joven Calloway, Harry Cho, Andrea Dobbins, Lauren Han, Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt, Linda Igarashi, Jonathan Kim, Kevin Kulp, Francesca Ling, Saki Masuda, Jee Teo, Bernice Wang, and Ryan Wong.
Playing the Royal Children: Isabella Abiera, Sierra Tolentino Chavez, Hailey Choi, Iris Choi, Aubrey Chun, Julian Paz Fedorov, Grace Jenkins, Layla Rose Lovin, Adrienne Amanda Morrow, Analeigh Charlize Singhi, Oliver Stellan, Natalie Yokota, and Aiaru Zhumakhmet.
With original choreography by Jerome Robbins, the new show is choreographed by Rumi Oyama, whose credits include “Sayonara” (Pan Asian Rep’s Off-Broadway musical; Fred Astaire Award for Outstanding Female Dancer), “Dance for Learning” (global conference with Michelle Obama as speaker); and “Allegiance” (Little Tokyo’s Aratani Theatre; nominated for a Broadway World Regional Award). Her acting credits include “Allegiance” (Broadway) and “Running for Grace” (Amazon Prime).
Suitable for all audiences. Showtimes: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Previews: Friday, April 21, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. Post-show discussions on Thursdays, April 27 and May 11. Open-captioned performance on Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased in person, by phone at (714) 994-6310 or (562) 944-9801, or online at: https://lamiradatheatre.com/current_events/broadway_series/the_king_and_i/
Group, military and student discounts available. Children under 3 will not be admitted.