The King and I opens at Gateway Theatre

Jovanni Sy, Jason Sakaki, Pamela Peng and Barbara Tomasic in The King and I. - David Cooper photo
Jovanni Sy, Jason Sakaki, Pamela Peng and Barbara Tomasic in The King and I.
— image credit: David Cooper photo

Gateway Theatre artistic director Jovanni Sy is making his Vancouver stage debut this week as the King of Siam in a new production of a Tony Award-winning musical.

The King and I is on the MainStage now until Dec. 31. The Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II classic about the clashing of cultural values and the healing power of sympathy for others is known for songs like “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Whistle a Happy Tune.”

Shortly after arriving in Bangkok, British school teacher Anna Leonowens (Barb Tomasic) tests the limits of the King of Siam (Jovanni Sy). Originally hired to educate the King’s wives and children, Anna turns out to have a mind of her own—questioning the King’s decisions and meddling in matters that are none of her business. But when British officials set sail for Siam, sent to investigate rumours that the King is barbaric, Anna is determined to prove the Brits wrong.

Tickets, $30 to $49, available at gatewaytheatre.com or 604-270-1812. Special performances include Dec. 10 at noon (tea matinee) and Dec. 10 at 7:15 p.m. (pre-show chat with artists).

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