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'The King and I' – A royal classic comes to the Marriott Theatre

No matter how many times you’ve seen the King and I live or in the movies, this enchanting musical continues to enthrall. In the new Marriott production, the “King and I” seems as fresh and relevant as ever, giving a new perspective to the political issues of slavery in the 1860s as well as the changing tides. But first and foremost, the King and I is a glorious musical with Rodgers and Hammerstein classic tunes you’ve known forever. I guarantee you’ll leave the theatre singing “I Whistle a Happy Tune.” Other memorable songs include “Shall We Dance,” Getting to Know You” and Hello Young Lovers.”

The King and I stars Heidi Kettenring as Governess Anna in a role she was born to play. Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte plays the brash, fearless King of Siam, who does not want the world to think him a barbarian. Anna continues to stand up to the larger-than-life king as she battles for her rights and tries to steer the king into a more traditional British and Western way of thinking. But it’s the beautiful cast of adorable royal children and lovely princesses that steal your heart. And there are slew of them. Actually, brothers Matthew and Zachart Uzzarraga get to play the Prince Chulangkorn and one of the children, their first time performing together on stage. Matthew plays the role of the future king with heart.

As in grand Marriott manner, the costumes take on a life of their own. Anna's grandiose, full-hoop dresses are a joy to behold. In working with the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago, the Marriott creates costumes, dance and traditions that are authentic.