NEWPORT CITY, Manila, Philippines – The longest-running Broadway musical staged in the country, ‘The King and I’ mounted by Resorts World Manila and Ultimate Entertainment ended its production with a double treat via its launching of the ‘Something Wonderful’ coffee table and had its last shows with the two Annas and Kings—Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Shiela Valderram-Martinez, Nonie Buencamino and Bo Cerrudo, on separate dates.
On Tuesday, May 21, Resorts World Manila and Ultimate Entertainment created another milestone in their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘The King and I’ as it launched ‘Something Wonderful’ coffee table book on the third level of Genting, Maxim’s.
The said colourful books chronicles all the efforts of the whole 8-month run of the all-Filipino production, which features an anthology of photographs from shows, the performers, as well as the backstage personalities that made the months of mounting possible and successful by collectively working together.
During the launch, selected cast members of ‘The King and I’ performed some memorable production numbers. Gina Respall who is one of the Lady Thiangs opened the event with a song ‘Something Wonderful’. The two Annas—Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Sheila Valderrama along with the two Kings—Nonie Buencamino and Bo Cerrudo performed ‘Getting to Know You’ with the kids, too.
‘Something Wonderful’ coffee table book is designed by the award-winning visual communications agency Studio 5. It captured the moods and the ambiance of what went on and off the stage during the almost a year performances or run and also showcased the profiles of men and women behind this phenomenal hit show.
Apart from the effective tandem of Lauchengco-Yulo and Buencamino, Valderrama-Martinez and Cerrudo also provided their Saturday afternoon and evening audiences with equally engaging chemistry, which was not seen in the first King and Anna. Both elicited ‘giddiness’ and hooked the mixed crowd they had with their respective portrayals of Anna Leonowens and King Mongkut.
Cerrudo may not have chosen to be bald and didn’t follow suit on how Yul Brynner had depicted the King’s character he still exuded the kind of authority of a Siam King. Valderamma-Martinez’s take may at times reminiscent to Gertrude Lawrence’s Anna. Though only nuances of attraction toward each other were shown between the two characters, at least they were able to break the ice and engaged their audience of the connection or bond that the two actors created.
All the kids in the said production have remained endearing in their scenes despite some struggle in enunciating well their lines. But Anton Posadas playing Prince Chulalongkorn and James Gabriel Ketcher as Louis Leonowens have matured in their interpretations of their respective roles. Gina Respall as Lady Thiang still never fails to enchant her audience with her powerful voice. Marian Santiago and Chuck Marbella as Tuptin and Lun Tha were emotionally intense in their scenes together.
‘The King and I’ bagged the 2012 Aliw Award for Best Musical Production.
Also, all National Bookstores nationwide made available the ‘Something Wonderful’ copies with its suggested retail price at Php3,500. Also, the said publication can be purchased during the last leg of performances of ‘The King and I’ on May 24, 25, and 26.
For further information, visit www.RWManila.com or contact Tourist/Visitor Hotline at (632) 908-8833.