Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth, ME

SRT's new production of The King and I not to be missed

“The third show of the 'Season of Transformation' at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth is The King and I, and it is sure to please.”

“The SRT production of The King and I is both shimmering and haunting. Gary John La Rosa's choreography is simply delightful in its precision and in its attitude. The actors, particularly the leads, daringly explore the humor and sentiment of a situation that is less than politically correct and transform each other in the process. The result is while audiences enter the theatre humming the tunes, they leave discussing the show. This production does more than entertain: it enlightens.”

“Two dance sequences deserve special mention. As a moment of harmony between two worlds, 'Shall We Dance?' Is a showstopper. Secondly, The 'Small House of Uncle Thomas' Ballet brings focus to a central theme of the show and is beautifully imagined and executed.”

“More particularly, this production succeeds because its actors have a good time with the material and the characters and clearly respect one another. Children and adults interact wonderfully. Actors without lines are as invested in the project as the stars, creating a community in the best sense. SRT's production of The King and I is irresistible. Don't miss it. It will entertain the entire family.”

MaryAnn Robertson – The York Weekly

The King and I is Incredible Even Without Yul

“It is grand, superbly performed, incredibly staged, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It is The King and I at Seacoast Repertory Theater through January 10. The play is wonderful. The play within the play, even more stunning. Just everything is right about this production.”

The show within the show, a version of Uncle Tom's Cabin, written by Tuptim…is exceptional theater.”

Gary John La Rosa, who is directing with the Rep for the first time, just lets loose with this piece. Wonderful throughout, he tops himself with this segment.”

Jeanne McCartin – Showcase

Seacoast Repertory's latest is fit for a king

“The Seacoast Repertory Theater's production of The King and I is fit for royalty. The Rogers and Hammerstein favorite is one of the more lavish productions the Seacoast has seen in recent times.”

Gary John La Rosa has come up with the goods in the dual role of director/choreographer. Let's hope to see him back in the near future.”

“There have been some very fine shows around the Seacoast lately. Hardly a dud to be found. But this is one of the very slickest you'll get for your money.”

Adrian Zupp – Spotlight: Portsmouth Herald

The King and I is fit for royalty

“Seacoast Repertory Company, traditionally a master at adapting large-scale productions to its intimate performing space, has done it again with The King and I, currently on view. Solidly directed and choreographed by Gary John La Rosa, this venerable Rogers and Hammerstein show seems fresh and lively.”

“…But the unquestionable highlight of the production is 'The Small House of Uncle Thomas' ballet which features Kellie Fisher Cardin and is a masterpiece of imaginative staging. Fans of the movie or larger-scale staged versions will find nothing missing, and the nearness of the dancers to the audience makes it absolutely thrilling.”

Cathy Nelson Price – Maine Sunday Telegram

Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven, NJ

King and I Sparkles With Musical Fireworks

“This past Tuesday, Beach Haven celebrated Independence Day with not one, but two breathtaking displays of magnificence and splendor. You may have guessed the fireworks over the bay as the first. The second was indoors at the opening night of the Surflight production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. There is some bad news and some good news, however: The bad news is you have to wait until next Fourth of July to catch the fireworks in the Queen City. The good news is you can take in the majesty of The King and I any – or every – night through July 16.”

Gary John La Rosa directs this work in a manner befitting such a popular and well-known musical. La Rosa must also be recognized for his choreography of the piece, which masterfully blends the influence of Far Eastern dance with that of Western ballet. The musical number, The Small House of Uncle Thomas is a feast of story-telling, movement, color and surprise.”

Audrey Dugeau – The Beachcomber

A Killer King and I

“If Siskel and Ebert were to have reviewed the Surflight Theatre's current production of The King and I, the duo wouldn't have enough thumbs to point skyward in praise of this incredibly ambitious and satisfying performance.”

“…Simple yet dazzlingly complex in execution, design and choreography, the number alone would be worth the price of admission.”

“That the play, which offers so much love, tragedy, humor, a cast of more than 50, a secondary play, not to mention a breathtakingly beautiful score, has been mounted so spectacularly is, well…is 'A Puzzlement'.”

Christine Sharpe – Summer Times Islander

“Directed and choreographed for the Surflight stage by Gary John La Rosa, a New York City native, he brought this delightful story to an exotic and poignant life.”

“...the end result was ordained to be a spectacular smash hit.”

The Barnegat Bay Banner

Theatre by the Sea, RI

“…And what a glorious production it was, a feast for the eyes and ears.”

“High marks are due director/choreographer Gary John La Rosa…”

“Choreography is perfection, from royal entertainment to the King sweeping Anna around the palace library to the comical/heartbreaking play-within-a-play, 'The Small House of Uncle Thomas' which is alone worth the price of admission.”

“…MOC has spared nothing to do justice to this musical masterpiece. Only a packed audience could be payment in kind.”

Jacquie McCarthy – News Record

Musical Theatre Southwest, NM

Enjoyable ‘King and I’ produces two especially noteworthy scenes

“Sometimes in the course of a pleasurable evening in a darkened theatre, a single scene stands out from the rest. At Friday's opening night of the Musical Theatre Southwest production of The King and I, there were actually two that were worthy of special commendation. One was Act II, Scene 3. It was the dramatic – hypnotic, really – and highly professional performance of the mini ballet 'The Small House of Uncle Thomas.' The ballet ensemble – the costumed singers, musicians, narrator in two high lighting lofts and the masked dancers on stage – executed the ballet so well that they transformed it into a scene remembered long after Popejoy Hall emptied.”

“The other memorable scene is the tearful finale, in which Anna…returns to the palace for a final rapprochement with the dying king.”

“…lustrous sets, shimmering costumes, effective lighting and Joel Gelpe's flawless pit orchestra enhanced the show.”

David Steinberg – The Albuquerque Journal

Anna and the King

“For some rip-roaring holiday entertainment, you need look no further.”

Steven Robert Allen – The Alibi

Ambitious and Handsome "King and I"

“…all in all a delightful theatrical experience.”

“…quite pleasing and well directed.”

“A kudos to Gary John La Rosa for direction and choreography. The ‘Small House of Uncle Thomas’ ballet was well done and inventive.”

John Seagrave & Norma Lynn – Music Critics Assn. of No. America

© 2024 Gary John La Rosa