“The King and I” returns to the Beef and Boards stage 

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Anna Leonowens (Hannah Louise Fernandes) tells the royal children that they’re precisely her “cup of tea” as she sings “Getting To Know You” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, now on stage through May 19.(Photo/Indy Ghost Light)
Anna Leonowens (Hannah Louise Fernandes) tells the royal children that they’re precisely her “cup of tea” as she sings “Getting To Know You” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, now on stage through May 19.(Photo/Indy Ghost Light)

The classic love story of Anna and King Mongkut has returned to Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. 

On stage now through May 19, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” will take audiences back to 19th century Siam. The Tony Award-winning Musical, based on Margaret Landon’s novel “Anna and the King of Siam,” follows the true story of Anna Loenowens, a British widow and King Mongkut, the king of Siam, after he summons her to tutor his many children and wives.  

Despite being seen as a “Barbarian” by western nations, the king (Jae Woo) seeks Anna’s (Hannah Louise Fernandes) help in softening his image and mannerisms for the modern world while attempting to remain firm in his traditions and values. 

The Beef and Boards production of “The King and I” is prioritizing more authentic details of the original story, including how in real life, Anna Loenowens was of Anglo-Indian descent, said director Brian Jose. 

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“That slight shift makes all the difference,” Jose said in a statement. “Instead of a story that can easily be seen as a white savior/colonialism story, we get a more complex story about a woman who has had to suppress her culture in order to advance in society to provide for her children as a single mother.” 

At its heart, “The King and I” is a love story, filled with beautiful moments, whimsical storytelling and timeless music, such as “Getting To Know You,” “Something Wonderful,” “I Whistle A Happy Tune” and “Shall We Dance.” 

“In a time when political wars have eliminated a middle ground and religious wars have fueled so much destruction and hatred, a show about exploring our differences and attempts to understand each other seems like just what we need,” Jose said. 

“The King and I” is showing at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 Michigan Road, for 50 performances through May 19 weekdays and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., Sunday evenings 7 p.m., and select matinees at 1 p.m. A dinner buffet and select beverages are available prior to each show. Tickets range from $55-$82 and are available to purchase at beefandboards.com

Contact Arts & Culture writer Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.