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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘The King and I’ charms Aggieland

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Angela Baumgardner as Anna Leonowens and the Royal Children in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I. 

A classic of royal proportions has come to Rudder Auditorium on Tuesday and Wednesday as MSC OPAS brings “The King and I” onto stage.
A winner of four Tony Awards, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” is a classic musical that exudes a diverse cast and a grand original storyline. Adapted from Bartlett Sher’s original direction of the musical, Shelley Butler directed with choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. Other members of the creative team include costumes by Catherine Zuber, sets by Michael Yeargan, sound by Scott Lehrer and lighting by Donald Holder.

The musical conveys a unique and unorthodox story of the opposition between Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher fighting for a position in society, and the modernist yet arrogant King of Siam who brings her to Bangkok in the 1860s to teach his multiple wives and children.

Recreation, park & tourism sciences junior Jacob Vasquez serves as the Chair of the MSC OPAS Student Committee. Amidst advertisement and preparation for the show, Vasquez said he looks forward to “The King and I.”
“I think we are very lucky we are able to have such a well-known classic come to Texas A&M University,” said Vasquez. “I hope we can fill Rudder Auditorium so as many patrons can enjoy this old-time favorite as possible. I know it’s going to be a great performance.”

“The King and I” is considered one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works and includes classic songs in its score such as, “Shall We Dance,” “Getting To Know You” and “Something Wonderful.” Vasquez said he encourages everyone to come to see the performance, as it is filled with songs that tell an amazing story.

An ensemble member of the cast, Trevor Roderick is making his national tour debut with “The King and I.” According to Roderick, he has familiarity with the story as he played a role he now understudies when he performed in “The King and I”at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan when he was nineteen. After fives years of solely cruise ship singing gigs, he has returned to musical theater.

“It has been nice to revisit this classic musical and to actually have lines to say again,” Roderick said. “Shelley was phenomenal to watch direct. She really knows how to talk to actors and communicate to them to get the most out of them.”

Roderick said he took the opportunity to be a part of the show because he enjoys the music and pursuing his other passion, traveling. Roderick said he learned a lot from the musical theater program at his alma mater, Texas State University, and that ever since graduating he’s performed all over the world.

“Every tool I learned, not just performance-based, I really took to heart,” Roderick said. “It was the moments in-between acting work that really teach you the most. I think it’s important to have lots of other interests and to explore them. It will make you a more rounded performer and person.”
Blinn freshman Gracieanne Bathke said she attended unaware of the storyline and history of “The King and I” but was interested in finding out.
“I’ve been very involved in theater, so I was very excited,” Bathke said. “The choreography was stunning; It could not have been any better. They really did a good job of making you feel everything that was going on onstage. I don’t regret coming at all. It was a fantastic production.”

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