Lincoln Center Theater's 'The King and I' Was the Best I've Seen

My daughter, Mary, and I have seen every major production of our favorite musical, The King and I, since she was six. Almost 30 years now. We have seen the movie hundreds of times, seen if off and on Broadway, to cuttings at symphonic programs. If it is done, we go — although I have drawn the line at high school performances unless I am related to one of the actors. :)

Last night, Mary gave me an early Christmas gift of two tickets to see the Lincoln Center Theater road version of The King and I. So I took my "best girl" to dinner, donned my black tie — which she has insisted on since our first father-daughter date to see The King and I on Broadway.com with Lou Diamond Phillips. Usually, I have lower expectations for tours that run after Broadway, as they sometimes seem to be using the same casting director as the Ice Capades. The sets being trucked from city to city are usually not as grand or exciting. It is understandable as a roadshow is a rough life.

All of this to say — last night, I was treated to the best production of The King and I in my lifetime.

First, the acting: I thought it would be impossible to beat the performance of Debra Kerr and Yul Brynner. Those performances are iconic and I have always felt badly for those who later took on the roles as no matter how good you are, you will never be Kerr or Brynner.

The role of Anna was taken on by Laura Michelle Kelly who has played this role on the stage at Lincoln Center. She is perhaps best known for her work in London. America will fall in love with her and her version of Anna. She hit every mark that Debra Kerr hit, and from where I was sitting, she even looked like Kerr, but that is not enough to receive this rave. She had all the grace, elegance and talent of Kerr, but also managed to make this her own. Her version of "Shall We Dance" was more beautiful, fun, touching and had more sexual tension than the classic film. Her voice, acting, slight comedic hat tip and phrasing was as if the role had never been played before and had indeed been written for her.

The King, played by Jose Llana is a role I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is a battle lost before the curtain rises. You will never be THE KING that Yul plays still on the stages of the eternities. Llana at first, I thought, was too weak to play the king, but I quickly realized this came from the fact that I had only seen people imitating the 1956 king. Once I stopped expecting an impersonator, I saw a new king — Jose Llana had made the role his as well. This is not easy. His subtle choices made him a more accessible King and one for a new age. Brave, and well done.

I could go on and say the same for almost every cast member; the young prince; Tuptim; her lover; the "Head Wife"; and the children.

The "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" scene was not only more beautiful than the movie or any production I have seen, but it was more beautifully staged and emotionally powerful than I could have ever imagined.

Everything was in its rightful place. The lavish costumes were so spot on they brought me back to my time in Bangkok earlier this year. The first costume for Tuptim was so simple and pure it almost made her look angelic. Couple that with her performance and you could almost see the ethereal rays of light.

Rarely does one need to recognize the lighting design, but from the tricks of light from the opening curtain and first sunset, it was almost a dance between the lighting designer and the set designer. Shall we dance? Yes, they will and they did. Notice the lack of a spot on the palace pillars as the king walks around them.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise in seeing that it was directed by Bartlett Sher. I spoke with him after the performance to congratulate him on what I believe is...

The King of The King and I productions.

My grandfather was a horse man and he always told me every Kentucky Derby that you don’t bet on the horse, you bet on the trainer and jockey. How appropriate here. This is a good horse that has been ridden by many talented riders, but the trainer and jockey this time have given the stage a triple crown.

See it when it comes to your town.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Robert Francis "Beto" O’Rourke's disgusting and obviously-staged political stunt during a press conference about the Robb Elementary School massacre is just another of the many ways that prove the man is "human trash," Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere agreed on the radio program Thursday.

"Beto is human trash. He is scum. He is the scum of the earth, the lowest form of humanity our society can produce," Stu said in response to a video clip of O'Rourke heckling Gov. Greg Abbott in the middle of an update on the tragic mass killing in Uvalde. "This was obviously staged from the beginning ... clearly planned. Even CBS News pointed it out it was blatantly a staged event. And this guy [O'Rourke], because he wants more power and more money, decided that this event was about him. He wanted to make the [deaths] of 19 children and teachers all about Beto O'Rourke because he is human scum. He is the worst form of life imaginable on this Earth."

Democrats like O'Rourke have been quick to use the tragic deaths of 19 children to advance their own pro-gun law political agendas, particularly "red flag" laws that would empower courts to take guns away from "potentially dangerous" people

"You want a solution? Stop selling AR-15s in the state of Texas. You want a solution? Have universal background checks. We don't have them. You want a solution? Red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders, which stop a shooting before it happens," O'Rourke shouted after being escorted out of the press conference.

Glenn wasn't buying O'Rourke's "righteous indignation," especially as his own resurfaced writings qualify as the "ultimate red flag for any red flag law." As a teen, O'Rourke wrote about hacking, overthrowing the government, and, most disturbingly, murdering children by running over them with his car.

Glenn read an excerpt from a fiction O'Rourke wrote when he was 15 years old:

[O]ne day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles. I knew, however, that this happiness and sense of freedom were much too overwhelming for them. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.

As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.

"Dangerous, right? Nothing good's going to come of this. According to Reuters, those are the teenage writings of Beto O'Rourke," Glenn said. "The state of Texas should be very aware and not allow [O'Rourke] to buy a gun because of this. This guy, this guy, and his righteous indignation — give it a rest, bud. Give it a rest."

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Texas AG Ken Paxton says gun laws are NOT the answer, urges schools to arm teachers

Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

In the wake of the unspeakably grievous mass murder at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, many on the left are calling for increased gun control measures, but without specifying exactly what legislation could have prevented the horrifying event. Attorney General Ken Paxton says gun laws are not the answer. He joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail specific measures he believes could stop similar school atrocities in the future: arming teachers.

Paxton told Glenn that Texas has already put laws in place that allow schools to opt in to training and arming teachers as either a marshal or under the guardian program.

"We passed laws when I was in the Texas Senate, I think it was 2013, that would have helped greatly. There's no way that law enforcement can get to every location as fast as they would need to," Paxton said.

Glenn interjected, "I'll tell you, I went to a school where my son was playing football ... and there were signs all over. 'Beware. Teachers are armed. We take the Second Amendment and the protection of our students seriously.' It was so clear — not doing anything here. That's the way to do it."

"Yes," Paxton agreed. "I think that's the way it should be. I mean, these people [shooters], they know they're safe, at least until law enforcement gets there, to accomplish their goals. And we're going to keep seeing this happen until we decide as a state ... to protect these kids," he added.

"It's ridiculous for the Biden administration to suggest that this kid who decided to violate the murder laws would [think], 'Oh. Wait a minute, there's a gun law. I can't do this. I wouldn't violate gun laws.' It's law-abiding citizens that follow the law," Paxton continued. "Second, we have a fentanyl crisis that the Biden administration has presumably invited and we've had over 100, 000 people that overdosed and died from fentanyl. [...] Why isn't the Biden administration so concerned about the hundred and something thousand people that died from overdoses because they opened up the border and allowed fentanyl to come across?"

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In the wake of the horrific Buffalo shooting, the left-wing media tried to paint all conservatives as subscribers to “replacement theory” — the idea that immigrants are taking over to such an extent that they will destroy white Western civilization. Of course, no serious conservative believes in this ugly, racist, dangerous ideology, but there is a ton of ACTUAL replacement going on, and it has nothing to do with immigration or racism.

What we saw yesterday in Uvalde, Texas, is more dark horrific evidence of the only replacement theory that ultimately matters because it affects everything. We’ve replaced God in society. Glenn argues it’s why gun control is ultimately useless — even though he completely understands our human impulse to DO something. While our culture has replaced God for rot, the Biden White House and Democrats are also working overtime to replace key elements of American political, legal, economic, and cultural life.

BlazeTV host Mark Levin of “LevinTV” tells Glenn why Media Matters' latest hit job on him over his Uvalde coverage is pathetic. “Stop pushing God out of the public square” is not a radical concept to help prevent evil from taking hold in our schools. He also takes on the Democrats’ attempts to destroy the Supreme Court, voting rights, and the separation of powers.

BlazeTV host Allie Beth Stuckey of “Relatable” tells Glenn why she believes the Uvalde shooting reveals how we are failing young men in this country and what we must do to stop the replacement theory that threatens to keep an entire generation from becoming a benefit to society.

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Glenn Beck addressed the incomprehensibly tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on the radio program Wednesday, saying it's time to stop with the politics, from both sides, and focus on healing a nation that is tearing itself apart.

"It pains me to think about the political garbage that has happened in the last 12 hours," Glenn began. "I believe that we are on the verge of losing our nation, and the reason why we're about to lose our nation is the same reason some kid walked into an elementary school and shot and killed people. It's not the guns ... it's our society."

Glenn called the tragedies plaguing our nation' —kids shooting kids, committing suicide, dying from fentanyl, joining gangs, and suffering from depression and loneliness — are symptoms of a greater sickness.

"Where's the value of human life? The hatred that is being poured down our throats, the class division, the racism — make no mistake, it is intentional," he stated. "The best way to destroy a nation is to cut it apart. ... In our society, where are the ethics? What are ethics? It's your truth versus my truth. There is no absolute truth. And in a world where there is no truth, who gets to be God? Well, it depends on which group you're in I guess."

Glenn said America’s underlying problem is "a rotting in our soul" and until we "live in a nation that is willing to even recognize that there is something bigger than the self, and it has nothing to do with government, we'll never fix this problem."

"Let's not make this about Democrats and Republicans. Let's just make this about what the hell is going on because everything in our society is falling apart," he said. "And until you're willing to have that conversation, the rest of it is bullcrap."

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