Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Sterling Playmakers The King and I

By • Jul 31st, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Sterling Playmakers’ production of The King and I [MP3 5:14 1.5MB].

Laura: Sunday afternoon we saw Sterling Playmakers‘ production of The King and I in Sterling Virginia.

Mike: The King and I is a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It takes place in Siam in the early 1860’s. Anna is a school teacher who comes to teach the children of the king. She doesn’t realize that the king has over 50 children and she has a big job ahead of her. She is also fairly feministic in her outlook on life. She ends up teaching the king as well. Her relationship with the king is a major focus of the story and as Anna helps the king to become less barbaric in the eyes of Europe, she get closer to the king as well.

Laura: This was a pretty good show. There was a wide range of acting talent on the stage. It was a huge cast, lots of princes and princesses and all of the king’s wives. I felt that the musical did drag a little bit. It was over three hours long with a twenty minute intermission so I felt it dragged a little bit. I could see that everybody was working hard and it was a pretty good show.

Mike: Over all this was a good show. There were a few times, though, that the orchestra completed their interlude before the set was all ready. So there were times when we were sitting in darkness waiting for something to happen. I think that’s one reason the show seemed to drag on. The pacing of some of the scenes it seemed like were a bit slow. A lot of the individual numbers were fine. But when you put it all together it felt like the show was dragging a bit.

Laura: Anna Leonowens, the school teacher that came to Siam to teach the king’s children, was played by Cristin Williamson. She did a good job. She had a nice strong voice. She had very much the upper crust English attitude. The way she dressed was very upper crust. Her mannerisms showed that she came from a good family with money. She was also pretty fiery. She had a good scene with the king where she was letting him know what she felt about him. Of course he wasn’t in the room at the time so she could speak rather freely. I though that was a good scene when he came in and the two of them argued.

Mike: The king was played by Kieth Flores. He had a challenging job. That’s the one part that everybody that I’ve talked to has said is the Yul Brenner part. So you’ve got that working against you. He did a good job with it. He didn’t quite have the range of emotions I was expecting. The king I was picturing would be very angry at times. Then would soften. I don’t think he had quite the range I was looking for. But he did an ok job.

Laura: Tuptim, the girl that was sent from Burma as a gift to the King of Siam, was played by Beth Lansing. She did a good job. She also had a nice high voice. She had a lot of emotion. She was in love with the person who brought her to Siam. He was going away and she would be stuck in Siam. They had a really good scene together when they were singing about being in love and true love. She was also a bit fiery during the Uncle Tom’s Cabin play. She kind of said how she felt about things. I think she did a good job.

Mike: This is another show with a huge cast. I think they did a good job just corralling that many people. Getting them coordinated is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Laura: The costumes for The King and I were gorgeous. Costume Design was done by Susan Devine and Donna Naybor. They were so pretty; bright colorful silk. Then when the Siamese women had to wear English dresses, they were also very pretty. It was kind of funny. They were obviously not used to them so there was a lot of “Why am I wearing this? Why am I having to dress up?” That kind of thing. They were really pretty. All of the princes and princesses were wearing beautiful silk as well.

Mike: The set was designed by Glen Bartram. I think it was fine. It was very flexible. Maybe some of the scene change were a little bit slow. That might have been a design aspect or an implementation aspect. There was something funny going on with that as I mentioned earlier. They also used the stage at the Park View High School very effectively with the different levels that were offered from the different curtains that could be drawn.

Laura: The King and I is playing through Sunday August 12th. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday matinees at 2 PM at the Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia.

Mike: And now, on with the show.


  • Anna Leonowens: Cristin Williamson
  • King Mungkot: Kieth Flores
  • Captain Orton: Herb Fuller
  • Louis Leonowens: Charlie Smedberg
  • Interpreter/Guard (Prince Chulalongkorn Understudy): Michael Huynh
  • Kralahome: Takahashi Iwasawa
  • Lun Tha: Luis Mora
  • Tuptim: Beth Lansing
  • Lady Thiang: Margaret Waagner
  • Prince Chulalongkorn: Ty Walker
  • Sir Edward Ramsey/Guard: Jim Hepfinger
  • Princess Ying Yaowlak: Callan McCormick
  • Wives
    • Khun Yai: Lisa Alford
    • Khun Chom Kaeo/ Uncle Tom’s Chorus: obin Drake
    • Sunatda Wismita/Uncle Tom’s Chorus: Sally Ann Flores
    • Lady Talap: Angela Goodhart
    • Chao Khun Sa: Aubrey Knollman
    • Maprang: Diana Knollman
    • Diam/Uncle Tom’s Chorus: Kathryn Lea
    • Daeng/Uncle Tom’s Chorus (Tuptim Understudy): Traci Brooks
    • Thai: Katie Morton
    • Li-Hun: Thanh Nguyen
  • Princesses
    • Somawadi: Christine Detweller
    • Loam: Kathryn Detweller
    • Khae: Melody Flores
    • Mae Khoa: Rebecca Goodhart
    • Simia: Elizabeth Hur
    • May Ying Thahan: Sydney Maloney
    • Phya Phram Borirak: Stephanie Mora
    • Krishna: Elizabeth Pitman
    • Monthani: Madeline Presley- Wolf
    • Fa-Ying (Princess Ying Yaowlak Understudy): Alli Marie-Roaquin
    • Maenoi: Shannon Silk
    • Klip: Michelle Viljoen
    • Wani Ratain Kanya: Kristen Waagner
  • Princes
    • Phi (Louis Leonowen Understudy) Connor Gavan
    • Jaffer: Eric H epfinger
    • Chaiyanuchit: Mickey Hepfinger
    • Phra: Chris Sanderson
    • Chakri: Shuan Silk
    • Amazon: Katie Ferrante
    • Amazon: Emily Collins
    • Guard (Kralahome Understudy: Joe Campanella
    • Anna Leonowens Understudy: Vivian Monroe
    • King Mungkot Understudy: Terry Smith
    • Lun Tha Understudy: Brian Garrison


  • Producer: April Bridgeman
  • Director: Liz Smith
  • Assistant Director: Tim Silk
  • Music Director/Choral Director: Deb Bartram
  • Choreographer: Viv Monroe
  • Technical Director: Stephen Smith
  • Production Stage Manager: Helen Gernhardt
  • Set Design/Master Carpenter: Glen Bartram
  • Set Construction: Lisa Alford, Deb Bartram, Glen Bartram, Michael Bleutge, Tracy Brooks, Katie Buckman, Joe Campanella, Herbert Duvall, Keith Flores, Sally Flores, Herb Fuller, Courtney Garafolo, Jim Gaven, Helen Gernhardt, Barb Gillen, Angela Goodhardt, Jim Hepfinger, Michael Yuyhn, Takahashi Iwasawa, Diane Knollman, Beth Lansing, Kathryn Lea, J oe Maloney, Joy Maloney, H. Craig McKee, Ross Monroe, Luis Mora, Paul Nasto, Thanh Nguyan, Doug Pascale, Caitin Smith, Ken Shall, Danica Shook, Tim Silk, Liz Smith, Stephen Smith, Terry Smith, Cristin Williamson, Mary Willett, Martha Willett
  • Light Design: Paul Nasto
  • Light Crew: Michael Huyhn, Katherine Lee, Takahashi Iwasawa, Joe Campanella
  • Sound Design: Doug Pascale
  • Costume Design: Susan Devine and Donna Naybor
  • Head Seamstress: Melisande Smith
  • Seamstresses: Elizabeth Campanella, Cynthia Saari, Katie Thompson, Mary Willet
  • Makeup Design: Tosia Shall and Sabine Morson
  • Makeup and Hair Crew: Anita Ault, Terry DiMurro, Keirianne Knollman, keeley Mitchell, Lisa Rau, Cheryl Villabos
  • Mask Design and Creation: Terry DiMurro
  • Dialect Coach: McCall Doyle
  • Stage Combat Choreography: Terry Smith
  • Weapons Mangers: Joe Campanella, Terry Smith
  • Stage Manger: Michael Bleutege
  • Sound Manager: Ted Frederick
  • Publicity Manger: Kathleen Bleutege
  • Properties Mistress: Laura Gorofolo
  • Props Crew: Courtney Gorofolo, Barbara Gillen, Katie Strsnider
  • Set Dresser: Danica Shook
  • Set Atists: Amy O’Neal, Caitlin Schmidt, Terry smith
  • Running crew Chief: Kim Fry
  • Running Crew: Glen Bartram, Theresa Bender, Bill Fry Courtney Gorofolo, Andi Johnson, Jim Johnson
  • Children’s Director: Jessica Aliff
  • Assistant Children’s Director: Joni Carluzzo
  • Spotlight operator: Travis Frederick
  • House Manger: Lora Buckman
  • Box Office Manager: Mary Beth Pittman
  • Box Office: Michelle Hur, Bruce Pittman, Sheila Sanderson, Tom Vecchio, Roseann Vecchio, Patricia Walker
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

8 Responses »

  1. My last name is spelled NAYBOR not Nybor. Thank you for the nice review of our costumes for Sterling Playmaker’s “King and I.”


  2. Whoops! I apologize for the misspelling. I’ve fixed our typos.

  3. That’s OK. Thanks for fixing the typo. Glad you enjoyed the show! 🙂 Donna

  4. Well, since you’re fixing typos. . . . my husband’s name is spelled “Kieth”.

    By the way, given that Kieth has never set foot on stage in a professional or amateur production (other than playing his trombone), I thought he did more than just “okay”. The role of the King hardly does justice for his incredible singing voice.

    But I’m his wife so as far as I’m concerned HE ROCKS! Besides he’s handsome too.

    Sally Ann Flores

  5. The audience wouldn’t know it, of course, but the waits between scenes are due to costume changes, not scene changes. 🙂

  6. I fixed Kieth’s name. sorry about that, we assumed it was a type for Keith.

    The costumes were complex, so it does make sense that it would take some time getting changed.

  7. Just noticed that you have the character of “Interpreter/Guard (Prince Chulalongkorn Understudy)” listed above, but you did not list who played that character (which was Michael Huynh).

  8. Thanks for spotting that Kieth. I’ve fixed it.