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 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.

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:

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