1.5 The King and I!

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In our continued exploration of the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein, we explore The King & I (1951), a complicated and beautiful show about cultural imperialism, gender emancipation and the dangers of the white savior complex.

We talk about:

- The rise of the “star vehicle” for a diva actor, and the interesting racial & cultural background of Anna Leonowens (and Gertrude Lawrence, the actor who played her).

- The intersection of colonialism with Western values of equality, and when a “liberating” culture becomes an imposed culture that does violence in the name of greater freedom.

- The nature of forgiveness, and the possibility of real relationship across cultural, gender and ideological difference.

You’ll hear:

- Gertrude Lawrence singing “Getting to Know You” from the Original Broadway Cast recording.

- Lea Salonga and Peabo Bryson singing “We Kiss In A Shadow” from the 1993 Studio recording.

- Ruthie Ann Miles singing “Something Wonderful” from the 2015 Broadway Revival Cast Recording.

Continue the conversation with Peter (@pgeinvan) and Nathan (@nathan_lerud) on Twitter, and follow the Gospel of Musical Theatre on Instagram or Twitter @gospelofmt!

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