East Meets West in "The King and I" at
MCCC's Kelsey Theatre Nov. 14-23


Shall we dance? The regal pageantry of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I" comes to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre in November. The show is presented by Playful Theatre Productions Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m., and Sundays, Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Additional shows have been scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Nov. 14. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

It's East meets West in this dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale. The setting is Siam in 1862. Anna Leonowens, a widowed teacher from England, arrives with her young son at the Royal Palace in Bangkok to serve as tutor to the King's many wives and children. Generally viewed as less than civilized in the West, the King enlists Anna's assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both of them keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and respect one another in a truly unique love story. The dazzling score includes such classics as "Getting To Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," "I Whistle A Happy Tune," and "Shall We Dance," along with the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, "The Small House of Uncle Thomas," one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.

Starring in the "King and I" are: Fred Gropper as the King, Elizabeth Rzasa as Anna, Alwyn Baskin as Kralahome, Zachary Levine as Louis, Eryn LaCroy as Tuptim, Kristin Keenan as Lady Thiang, Michael Baskin-Searles as Chululonghorn, Robert Farruggia as LunTha, Elizabeth Ferrara as Princess Ying Yaowlak, Jeff Scharf as the Captain, Pat Parton as Sir Edward, and Keith Nielsen as Phra-alak/ Interpreter.

The king's wives are played by Melissa Consiglio, Jennifer Davis, Jan Gottlieb, Alexandra Haas, Caroline Haas, Laura Jackson-Jahnke, Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, and Christina Rose.

The King's children are played by Matthew Blazejewski, Madelyn Curtin, Kaitlynn Ely, Danielle Eves, Ethan Hamilton, Simon Hamilton, Katrina Meni, Anjali Nambrath of Marlboro, Madeline Schmidt, Victoria Scialfa, Jahmir "J" Scott and Jenna Valentine.

Other featured performers are: Emily Corrigan as Dancer/Eliza, Igor Dexter as Ensemble member, Kaitlynn Ely as Uncle Thomas, Nina Fasoli as Nurse/Dancer, Kiernan Matts as attendant/Buddha, Anjali Mehta as Nurse/Little Eva, Christina Rose as Topsey, Rachel Tovar as Dancer/ George and Angel, and Stephanie Venanzi as Simon of LeGree.

Tickets for "The King and I" are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request. For a complete listing of adult and children's events for the 2008-09 season, visit the Kelsey webpage or call the box office for a brochure.

To request a brochure by mail, email your request here. For more on events at Kelsey Theatre visit:

2008-09 Season
Ticket Information
Audition Information
Kelsey Kids Playshops

Fred Gropper is the King and Elizabeth Rzasa is Anna.

Anna, center, with the King (at back) and children.

Elizabeth Rzasa as Anna and Zachary Levine as Louis.

The King (Fred Gropper) with Prince Chululonghorn, played by Michael Baskin-Searles.
With the King (Fred Gropper) and Anna
(Elizabeth Rzasa) are Alwyn Baskin as Kralahome
and Kristin Keenan as Lady Thiang.



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