I had initially thought I would save watching the acclaimed 1956 movie version of The King and I for the end of my trip through this wormhole devoted to the R&H classic, but with no other activities planned last night, a bf as willing as he’d ever be to sit through it, and the blu ray tantalizingly sitting on the shelf, we hunkered down for a technicolor trip to Siam. Continue reading
Many musical theater cognoscenti maintain that The King and I is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s overall strongest show (though Carousel is frequently regarded as leader on score and “feels” fronts). I will admit that for years its charms eluded me. Partially because my mom was never particularly fond of it (or Deborah Kerr), so the movie didn’t play a part in my childhood. The only live production I ever saw was a semi-professional affair that some friends were in that I mostly remember for its ugly unit set and length. The only cast recording at my disposal growing up was the Original Broadway Cast, and that disk vanished from my collection a decade ago (and didn’t get much play while I had it because of my distaste for Gertrude Lawrence’s singing).
A few weeks ago I was alerted to a promotion on amazon that offered a digital download of the 2000 London Cast Recording (starring Elaine Paige) for $5, and have since been bitten by a The King and I bug. Continue reading
I recently purchased the Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection on Blu-Ray. This is the first Blu-Ray I have ever owned. (Fitting, since The Sound of Music was the first DVD I ever bought). I don’t have a blu ray player, but my gentleman friend does, so when the collection was on sale as an Amazon “Gold Box” deal, I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy it. The collection has come under some user-generate criticism for the uneven quality of the restoration/color correction. Two films (The Sound of Music and South Pacific) had been received top-notch restorations individual releases prior to the creation of this collection. Carousel, The King and I, and State Fair have been “color corrected” with what appears to be questionable success (I have not yet look at them). Oklahoma! is given two releases. One, a “Road Show” version, is taken from the 70mm Todd-AO print, while the other is based on the Cinemascope print. I, along with my patient gentleman friend, watched the Todd-AO print, which one reviewer dubbed “the jewel of the collection.” (Click here for information on why the film exists in these two formats.) Continue reading