“The King and I” is a powerful musical that encompasses beauty, struggle, adventure, politics and love. This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic truly stands the test of time. It is hitting Seattle at a perfect moment as we are experiencing the current political changes. “The King and I” is a show for everyone. It is beautiful, entertaining and fun. It is playing at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre through February 3rd. Get tickets here.
Kavin Panmeechao is playing Lun Tha, one of The Lovers. He took some time out of touring and rehearsal to speak with Equality365.com about the show. You can tell he really loves this musical and wants to share it with you. Check out our interview below.
Earle Dutton: How long have you been with “The King and I”?
Kavin Panmeechao: I started rehearsals in September. We had our first preview November 1st.
ED: What is your favorite part of the show?
KP: Oh gosh, that is hard to pinpoint. There are so many beautiful moments in the show. I don’t know why it strikes me so much but my favorite part is the procession toward the end of the show. The wall of our stage lifts and you see our entire ensemble completely backlit and standing in a row. I think it is one of the most beautiful images in the show. It is also the most abstract image in the show. I think it is just a beautiful moment.
ED: What do you think has made this such a long running favorite for all of these years?
KP: That is a good question. I think that Rodgers and Hammerstein are brilliant composer and lyricists. You just can’t fault Hammerstein’s book writing. He writes incredibly intelligent books for musicals. You also have the really deep subject manner. I think one of the reasons that “The King and I” is a favorite is because every generation has something new to discover in the show. Our production really highlights the deep political struggle in Siam at the time. The King is trying very hard to maintain the sovereignty of his country from encroaching colonial powers while all the nations around him are falling. I think every generation finds something new and pertinent to their times. I think that is what makes it so long-lasting. Of course, there is the music which is just so glorious.
ED: Could you tell me a bit about your role?
KP: I play Lun Tha who is a Burmese emissary. He is tasked with bringing Tuptim to the king of Siam as a gift from the king of Burma. In the course of their travels, he falls in love with her. They spend most of the show trying to find ways to connect with each other even if it is just a moment in a garden. Their love is very pure in that respect. It is also very forbidden. She is a gift to solidify a political connection so for her to choose the personal love over the politics of the two countries is very bold. It is very tragic in the end.
ED: Do you have a dream role you would just love to land?
KP: Yes, I think my dream role would be George in “Sunday in the Park with George”. I love that show. It really spoke to me even in my teens when I wanted to be an artist.
ED: What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
KP: Really, touring the country. I really want to take this beautiful show around the country. I want the show to touch people and really speak to them. I would love for them to see the world in a different way. I think that is one of the beauties of the show.
ED: Do you have sort of a short elevator speech you would give to someone to convince them to see the show?
KP: It has something for everyone. It is a perfect show for the entire family. Adults will enjoy it and children will enjoy it as well. I think it really touches everyone.
See Kavin Panmeechao in “The King and I” playing at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre through February 3rd. Get tickets here.