This is a studio recreation of the Rodgers And Hammerstein musical by The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, with soloists Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley. Andrews is perfect casting; she restores to the show its true nature as a star vehicle (it was written for Gertrude Lawrence), she embodies the role of the English tutor, and she sings brilliantly. Kingsley brings a contemporary, distanced cool to the role of the King of Siam, and the cast is effectively filled out by Lea Salonga and Peabo Bryson (as the lovers who sing "We Kiss In A Shadow"), and by Marilyn Horne (who sings "Something Wonderful"). Mauceri has opted to use the orchestrations developed for the movie version, which gives the score an added sweep and depth. This is the exception to the many opera-singers-doing-a-musical recreations we've been seeing over the last few years. It makes you wish Andrews and company would take it to New York.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|The King and I|