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The cast of the national tour is led by Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna Leonowens while the King of Siam is alternated between Darren Lee and Bay Area local Brian Rivera. Kelly is no stranger to the role, having played it at the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre. While that helped in familiarizing her with the role, she still had to make some adjustments, she said. “I did come at it with preconceived notions,” the actress said. “I love that (director Bartlett Sher) challenged me to think outside of the box.”.
Kelly full sole ballet shoes vs split sole previously played Mary Poppins in the musical of the same name on London’s West End and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in “Finding Neverland” on Broadway, She said she tends to seek out strong female characters to portray on stage, “I think fundamentally I want to be that kind of person and playing these roles makes me think I can, and hopefully I can encourage other people to do the same thing,” Kelly said, Rivera is also familiar with his part; he was an understudy in the production’s Broadway run, A native of Sacramento, Rivera attended San Francisco State University and put in time at many theaters around the Bay Area, including Teatro Vision in San Jose, Now, San Jose audiences will have an opportunity to see him play the King on Feb, 20, 24 and 25 at the Center for Performing Arts..
“In creating the King for myself in my performance, I learned to dial up certain attributes I have similar in myself,” he said. “I’m curious, I love learning new things, I love traveling, I love learning about different cultures, different languages… Aside from curiosity, I can also be stubborn and headstrong.”. To prepare for his role, Rivera made the trek from his home in New York to Thailand to learn about his character’s history and life. He said he also read the memoirs of Anna Leonowens.
“The role is based off an actual king,” Rivera said, “He was a learned man, He spent his youth and early adulthood just full sole ballet shoes vs split sole studying, not just about Buddhism, but he was very curious about the world.”, Under the direction of Tony Award-winner Sher, “King” won four 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Music direction is by Ted Sperling, sets by Michael Yeargan and choreography by Christopher Gattelli, Considered one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, “King” boasts a score that features classics such as “Getting To Know You,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” “I Have Dreamed” and “Something Wonderful.”..
It’s the Year of the Dog and Saratoga is ready. Hakone Gardens will celebrate the Chinese New Year with great fanfare on March 4. The Hakone Foundation’s 10th annual Lunar New Year Festival will feature entertainment, a children’s parade, arts and crafts activities, face painting, Chinese musical and martial arts performances and for the first time this year, a traditional Chinese face mask changing act. “Bian lian” is an ancient Chinese dramatic art where performers wear brightly colored costumes and masks that they change from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head or wave of the hand.
“This is a very traditional Chinese performance even though not a lot of people can do it,” said Emily Lo, a Saratoga city councilwoman and member of the Hakone board of trustees who is co-chairing this year’s event, The festivities will kick off at noon with a triple-lion performance by the Far East Dragon and Lion Dance Association, “It’s one of the popular features of the event, the most popular I would full sole ballet shoes vs split sole say,” Lo said, A Chinese calligraphy demonstration and traditional Chinese dance are also on the day’s agenda, along with a tai chi demonstration, Shaolin Shaolin will put on a martial arts demonstration..
The children’s costume parade will begin promptly at 2 p.m. and is open to anyone under 12. Participants are asked to check in by noon. Typically a 15-day holiday, Chinese New Year officially kicks off on Feb. 16. According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with an animal sign, occurring in a 12-year cycle. This is the Year of the Dog, an animal that is commonly associated with loyalty, honesty and justice. “The kind of person born in the Year of the Dog is usually considered very loyal, compassionate and affectionate,” Lo said.
Last year, the event drew around 250 people due to inclement weather, according to Lo, She said she hopes more people attend this year, The festival is open to the public and free with the entrance fee to Hakone Gardens, The full sole ballet shoes vs split sole entrance fee is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, Members as well as children under 5 are free, Members are welcome to bring one guest, Transportation to the event via a shuttle bus will be provided at 14460 Big Basin Way in front of the Chamber of Commerce, Guests are encouraged to take a shuttle or carpool as parking at Hakone is limited..