Covington’s Carnegie Center has been pulling together some interesting theatrical events, and this week marks yet another intriguing outing — a concert staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 hit The King and I. The Carnegie has assembled a cast of singers and actors with Broadway experience, accompanied by 12 musicians from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the CCO’s music director, Mischa Santora.
Ronn K. Smith, who has performed in shows such as Miss Saigon and Man of La Mancha, plays the imperious king. “It’s the journey that the King takes over the course of the show that makes him so exciting to play,” he says. “While maintaining the appearance of total, masculine control, the King really does consider and is challenged by the ideas of a woman. That’s an exciting evolution to play nightly.” His Anna (the “I” of the title) will be Dayton actress and vocalist Lee Merrill, member of the voice faculty at Wright State University. That’s also where director Joe Deer has his day job, so the Carnegie is bringing in some great talent for local audiences. (Deer directed a memorable production of A Little Night Music for New Stage Collective in 2009.) Only six performances, through Jan. 29.