Our Spring Musicals

(Click here for a complete history of over 50 years of OHS spring musicals from 1957 through 2009.)

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The King and I

Music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein
Presented March 14-15, 1958, by the OHS Music and Drama Departments
 
Starring Carolyn Spadanuta ('59) and Alan Lupi
    

Now Featuring

After 48 Years!

   
Selected LIVE RECORDINGS made onstage at OHS, March 15, 1958, featuring the OHS orchestra and the voice of our talented, but now departed, classmate, Alan Lupi, as the King, available courtesy of our popular teacher, musical director and conductor, Allan Segal.

   

The audio quality is not the best, But the memories are real. and they are SPECTACULAR!! Thanks, Allan
(Click here for an update on Allan Segal.)
  

  
      

Announcement from

,                  

February 28, 1958

Allan's reaction to these pages:                     "EXCELLENT!!! A real thrill to hear." 
(Click here to read what else Allan Segal
had to say about this website.)
  

  

 

 

Plot Synopsis

Based on the novel, Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon,
is a fictionalized version of a true and moving story of
Anna (Carolyn Spadanuta, '59), a young English widow, who tries to help an a Siamese king (Alan Lupi) to come to terms with the modern world in the early 1860s, but he is unable to resist the forces of ancient customs. The conflict between eastern and western cultures inspired this well-loved musical, which was first produced on Broadway in 1951 and on film in 1956, has been professionally revived many times, including twice on film in 1999, first in March as a full-length Warner Brothers animated feature and in December by 20th Century Fox under the title, Anna and the King.

Anna arrives with her son, Louis (Bob Petrilak), in Bangkok, the capital city of Siam (now Thailand). She has been engaged by the King to teach English and western ideas to his family of many wives and many more children. 

Anna tells Louis how she will bravely face the dangers before them and, indeed, she has doubts about her decision to come. At the King’s Court, Anna's western ideas quickly conflict with the ancient oriental traditions. 


 
From
(Click on the logo for more Beacon clippings.)

     
The King's proclamation of his belief in western ideals does not stop him from accepting a slave girl, Tuptim (Adele Grusendorf, '58), as a gift from the King of Burma. Tuptim, however, loves Lun Tha (Joe Fusillo, '59), the man who escorted her to Bangkok, and finds the King repulsive. When Anna meets the King, her doubts turn to anger when she discovers he has chosen to forget his various promises concerning salary and particularly his promise of a brick house
next to the palace. Only her meeting the King's enchanting children prevents from leaving. She decides to stay; and the royal wives are keen to hear of the differences between their two cultures, and the similarity when it comes to love and family. Anna instructs the royal children, the King's wives, even sometimes the King himself. They learn of the outside world, and wonders like snow, ice, and of freedom. The King is fascinated, yet troubled, by these ideas. Anna admires the King's strengths, but his stubbornness infuriates her. Lady Thiang (Irish Kodish), the King's first wife understands this and counsels patience, for she sees how much the King and Anna need each other. Anna has meanwhile befriended Tuptim and lent her the new American novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, but she is worried that Tuptim and Lun Tha are meeting secretly.

The King learns that a British diplomat is on the way to Bangkok, obviously to assess the King's hold on his country.  Anna cleverly suggests that a European dinner, with all the Court in Western dress, and with a suitable entertainment (which the intelligent Tuptim could devise) would give Sir Edward (Richard Dawson, '58) an excellent impression of an enlightened and sophisticated society― and of the King, too. The King is so impressed with "his own idea" that he rewards the strong-willed "Mrs. Anna" with a firm promise of the brick house, as in their agreement. The dinner is a great success, but Tuptim's entertainment, a ballet,will be her last act in Siam because Lun Tha has arranged an escape immediately afterwards, so they will be together forever. The "subversive" message of the ballet's story, however, worries the King momentarily, but Sir Edward's compliments and generous endorsement of his regime give the King great satisfaction. The plan works. The King and Anna, when they are alone, congratulate each other and in the mood of celebration he asks her to teach him the polka. 

As they dance, *  we see how their growing friendship is rapidly ripening into a romantic attraction, but the mood is shattered when news comes that the King’s slave girl, Tuptim, and Lun Tha were caught escaping. The police kill Lun Tha, and the King (suddenly no longer an enlightened, westernized monarch) prepares to punish Tuptim by whipping her. Anna chastises him for his reversion to barbarism. He drops his raised arm, the whip falls, and he realizes that his absolute power has evaporated. He flees the room, a broken man.

Anna prepares to leave Siam because she realizes that she has humiliated the King, but she receives a note from him and is stopped from leaving. In the note, he expresses gratitude for all she has done and says he is dying.  Shocked, she returns to the palace and finds him on his deathbed surrounded by wives and children, who now beg Anna not to leave them. She is deeply moved and realizes how much she loves them and how much they need her. The dying King declares that his eldest son, Prince Chulalongkorn (Dan Nussbaum), will be the new King. The Prince has learned his lessons well from Anna and announces that there will no more bowing and scraping before him, but as his father dies, all those present prostrate themselves, not only to the dead King but to the new one as well.

The most memorable songs in the show are "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello, Young Lovers," "I Have Dreamed," "Getting to Know You," "Something Wonderful," "We Kiss in a Shadow" and, of course, "Shall We Dance?"    

 

Click on the linked song titles above and below to hear alternate musical selections from our sophomore year OHS production in 1958.

You are now listening to an excerpt from the show's Overture by the 1957-'58 OHS orchestra.

 

However, the most entertaining, perhaps, is the King's expression of frustration with the changing times and his resultant examination of self-doubt entitled "A Puzzlement," which you can hear on our special Alan Lupi memorial page.
  

"There are times I almost think I am not sure of what I absolutely know.  ...  In my mind are many facts of which I wish I was more certain I was sure. ... Or am I right when I believe I may be wrong?"

The King of Siam

 

         

           

        

Copyright © 2000-2006 by Howard B. Levy and 1960 Sailors Association Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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* Selected illustrations copyright © 1999 by Warner Brothers