We all know the story. A British school teacher takes a job in the King of Siam’s palace to teach his many, many, many children, along with several of his wives. Along the way, there’s singing and dancing and a lesson to be learned by the king about humility and treatment of others, especially women. Of course, we’re talking about The King and I, on stage in the Quad Cities this weekend, thanks to Quad City Music Guild.
The strongest part of Music Guild’s production is its vividly colorful costumes and gorgeous set. Even during moments when I was a bit bored by the script or the performances, I enjoyed taking in the colors and background, so it was never really boring.
As for the performance, Music Guild’s production suffers from some community theaterisms. Almost all of the songs are sung directly to the audience. Despite a beautifully staged space, most of the action takes place downstage in the front third portion of the available area. And, while Music Guild could’ve presented an original take on the material, there’s more than a passing nod to the film version of the show. Then again, this IS community theater, so expectations should be at the community theater level.
But, there are some standout performances. Harold Truitt is delightful as The King. His accent is surprisingly consistent and the joy mixed with superiority on his face is perfect.
Stephanie Moeller actually shocked me as Tuptim. I’ve enjoyed her acting before, but this is the first time I’ve heard her sing. And, after hearing the first few notes I’ve ever heard her sing, I immediately wondered why I’ve never heard her sing before. Her acting is, once again, solid. But, it’s her voice that fascinated me most.
The King and I runs this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 at Quad City Music Guild in Prospect Park in Moline. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children, available by reservation — (309) 762-6610.