The King and I' set to open Oct. 3 at MLT
special to The Star
Aug. 16, 2002
Meridian Little Theatre's 70th season opens with "The King and I" starring Ken Patterson as King of Siam and Ginger Grissom Stevens as the English school teacher who becomes his children's tutor.
Patterson is the minister of music for Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church and co-starred as Daddy Warbucks in MLT's "Annie" last year.
Stevens will co-star as the English governess who in 1860 tries to impose her ideas of morality and education on the domineering monarch's family. Stevens is a local businesswoman and the associate director for the Wesley House.
Susie McEachin Johnson will make her first appearance on stage as Lady Thiang, the king's knowledgeable and intelligent wife. She is married to Joel Johnson and is the mother of three.
The part of the crown prince went to Joel Mabry, who appeared in MLT's youth production of "The Princess and the Pea."
Another newcomer to the local stage is George Tyler Brantley, who will play Lewis, Anna's son.
Lauderdale County's 2002 Junior Miss, LeAnn Palmer, won the role of the beautiful Tuptim. She was last seen on the MLT stage in "Annie." The part of Lun Tha went to Jeremy Sande, a former Meridian Community College student who works with Parker &Associates. Sande has been in many MLT productions.
The role of Captain Orton is being play by Tom Fair, who works for the Federal Aviation Administration. He appeared as Buffalo Bill in last season's "Annie Get Your Gun."
The Kralahome, prime minister of Siam, will be Larry Birzer, who is retired from the county school system and the U.S. Navy.
Dr. Marc Fisher will appear as Sir Edward Ramsey, the English ambassador and friend of Anna.
More than 90 children tried out for the King's 12 royal children. Those selected as princesses are: Christina Bertram, Hannah Cagle, Mia Hall, Rosey Lau, Hallie Majure Phillips and Lauren Rogers. Those selected as princes are: Sean Boykin, James Gibson, Benjamin Johnson, Pearson Kelly, Steven Knolls and James Roman.
The royal wives are: Nancy Gibson, Carmen Giles, Beth Maranto, DeShae Mouton, May Ohnemus and Toni Jackson. Jimmy Pigford is the director.
The play will open Oct. 3 for a week's run.