Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Video: Rachel York, Alan Ariano, YoonJeong Seong, Tami Swartz and More in Dallas Summer Musicals’ THE KING AND I at the Music Hall at Fair Park through April 5

Alan Ariano and Rachel York lead the cast as the King of Siam and Anna in THE KING AND I, directed by Glenn Casale, and presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. and Michael A. Jenkins (six-time Tony Award winner). The production began previews on Friday, March 20, 2015, at The Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave, Dallas, TX 75210. Opening night is set for Tuesday, March 24, 2015, at 7:30 pm, with performances continuing through Sunday, April 5, 2015. All evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m., and matinee performances will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and select Thursdays during the show’s run.

The cast of The King and I. Photo courtesy of Sam Tanabe and Bety Le/Facebook

The cast of The King and I. Photo courtesy of Sam Tanabe and Bety Le/Facebook

This exciting new production of this classic tale of a British schoolteacher’s unexpected relationship with the imperious King of Siam, features a revamped script, timeless songs, a new physical production with an entirely fresh interpretation of the musical, and original choreography by Bob Richard.
The King and I
The cast also features Tami Swartz (as Lady Thiang), Yoon Jeong Seong (as Tuptim), Devin Ilaw (as Lun Tha), Ted Deasy (as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey), Stephen Major Yongji Curda (as Prince Chulalongkorn), Aidan Winn (as Louis) and Ray Rochelle (as Kralahome).

East versus West makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale of enormous fascination. It is 1862 in Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna’s assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story. Along with the dazzling score, the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, ‘The Small House of Uncle Thomas,’ is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.

Featured in the ensemble are Frenie Acoba, Carol Angeli, Eric Badique, Korey Buecheler, Alysia Chang, Alex Chester, Louise Marie Cornillez, Justine “Icy” Moral, Jan Javier, Jolina Javier, Peter King-Yuen, Bety Le, Eddy Lee, Stephanie Lo, Azumi Milligan, Rumi Oyama, Marcus Shane, Sai Somboon, Sam Tanabe, and Jee Teo.

Glenn Casale (Director) helmed the new production of Dallas Summer Musicals Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID this past year. Casale’s work is seen in the Broadway production of PETER PAN starring Cathy Rigby and filmed by A&E. Off Broadway he directed THE PROPERTY KNOWN AS GARLAND, DRAGAPELLA at Studio 54. Internationally he directed Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Casale’s work has been seen throughout the U.S. in productions of DR. DOLITTLE; BALLROOM starring Tyne Daly and Charles Durning; WRESTLERS starring Mark Harmon and George Clooney; FROM THE TOP starring Carol Burnett; CAMELOT starring Michael York; and THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE with Jason Alexander. He is artistic director for the California Musical Theater in Sacramento.

Bob Richard (Choreographer) has pleased audiences with classics such as THE KING AND I, THE MUSIC MAN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and ANNIE, as well as the world premiere productionof Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow’s FOOTLOOSE and the Tenth Anniversary Production of Frank Wildhorn’s JEKYLL AND HYDE. Bob also choreographed the first productions of both HAIRSPRAY and LES MISERABLES to ever be staged in the round. His work can be seen every year at the Old Globe Theatre, with the long?running family production of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!: THE MUSICAL. Encompassing a career of more than 30 years of dancing, teaching and choreographing in major cities all over the world, Richard is the resident choreographer for Sacramento Music Circus and has staged over twenty?nine productions there over the past 13 years.

The design team for THE KING AND I includes Michael Anania (Scenic Design), Costume World, Inc. (Costume Design), Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design), Timothy K. Schmidt (Sound Design), Wigboys (Hair Design), Stephanie Klapper CSA (Casting), Craig Barna (Music Direction).

Single tickets, priced from $25-$108, are now on sale online at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849), and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX. Mini Packs, which allow all ticket buyers to pick 3 or more shows for as low as $55, are also available online or may be ordered by mail or in person at The Box Office, by phoning 214.346.3300 or through fax at 214.691.7386. Season subscribers and other patrons who have questions about their tickets can call The Box Office at 214.691.7200. Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region. As a nonprofit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM provides positive incentives for youth that are at risk for gang membership through the Stage Right program. In addition, The Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards are patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards and celebrates the power of the arts to significantly improve all areas of education. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible.

For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, call 214.421.5678 or visit the website at www.dallassummermusicals.org.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
“Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,” – Retrospective of Disney Legend at MOCA, March 26 – September 13
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibition on view at New-York Historical Society through April 19; Photos of An Evening with Amy Tan
Tony Award Winners Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, Jason Danieley, Mary Beth Peil, David Garrison & More Begin Previews in Terrence McNally’s THE VISIT on March 26
George Takei & Broadway Bound ALLEGIANCE Create Indiegogo Campaign as Endowment for the Japanese American National Museum
Vanity Fair: Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Jon Viktor Corpuz and More of Lincoln Center’s Revival of The King and I
Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut
Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season
Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC
Photos: “Swimming Awkward Moment,” the newest works by painter Arlan Huang at Trestle Gallery through March 27
Photos: Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call, Nick Cordero and More, Extends through March 29
MTC Run of World Premiere of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, starring Jennifer Lim, Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jo Mei, James Saito and Sue Jin Song has performances through March 29
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s AN OCTOROON, Starring Maechi Aharanwa, Pascale Armand, Danielle Davenport, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Austin Smith, Haynes Thigpen, and Mary Wiseman, Extends Again Off-Broadway Through March 29
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents Rajiv Joseph’s THE LAKE EFFECT Starring Adam Poss, Nilanjana Bose, Jason Bowen through March 29
Photos: Wendell Pierce, Kevin Mambo, Toccarra Cash, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson Set for The Billie Holiday Theatre Production of Jackie Alexander’s Brothers from the Bottom through March 29 
Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) Presents Man of La Mancha Starring Anthony Warlow, Amber Iman, Nehal Joshi at Sidney Harman Hall through April 26
OBIE Award-winner Jojo Gonzalez, Jessica Almasy, Marcia DeBonis, Brad Heberlee, Sakina Jaffrey, Erik Lochtefeld and Babak Tafti in Ars Nova’s World Premiere of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS through April 11; OBIE Winner Rachel Chavkin Directs
Mar. 24: An Evening with Amy Tan at New-York Historical Society
Photo: Stan Egi, Ellen Crawford, Paige Lindsey White, Bruce Turk, Greg Watanabe and More in Jessica Kubzansky helmed PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse through April 12; PYGMALION Themed Activities
Mar. 23: League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) Presents “Roundtable Discussion: Writing Plays By, For, or About Women” at Theater Lab Featuring Dael Orlandersmith, Caridad Svich, Jenny Lyn Bader, Lee Hunkins, Kara Lee Corthron, Fengar Gael and Tracey Scott Wilson
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
Garth Kravits Joins “NEW STANDARDS: Songs For The Stage By Jim Territo” Lineup at 42West on March 25
Mar. 28: NBT’s INSIGHT / SECOND SIGHT: Celebrating the Journey of Veteran Actresses Michele Shay, Lynda Gravatt, Carol Maillard, Laurie Carlos, Barbara Montgomery, Ebony Jo-Ann, Terria Joseph & Seret Scott
LA Times Critic’s Choice FIGARO at A Noise Within; April 4, 5, 9, 10, 19, 30, May 1 and 10
Jon Tenney, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez Set for World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory, April 12-May 3
Apr. 13:THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE Original Cast Album Release Party at Joe’s Pub will feature André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kevin Mambo, Kyle Beltran, Ken Barnett, Britton Smith, Akron Watson and Juson Williams
Rebecca Naomi Jones kicks off run as Yitzhak in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH on April 14
East West Players’ Honors Paula Madison of Madison Media Management LLC and “Fresh Off The Boat” Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar on April 20
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, helmed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS, PARTS 1, 2 & 3 is the 2015 Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History 
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016
The American Playwriting Foundation Creates The Relentless Award to Honor the late Philip Seymour Hoffman
Variety.com: Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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