Last year, I won 2 tickets to “The Sound of Music” via a facebook contest sponsored by Resorts World Manila. This year, I won 2 balcony seats to “The King and I” from Eastwest Bank’s Dream Tickets Giveaway raffle promotion on facebook yet again. I am filled with gratitude. Like I always say, “why buy when I can win [tickets]?”
While I tremendously enjoyed “The Sound of Music” from beginning to end, I’d have to admit I cannot say the same thing about “The King and I”. This is, of course, a matter of personal opinion. I mean, we all have different takes on a variety of subjects, don’t we? For instance, many people love watching the TV show “Glee”, while I cannot stand it. See? So while it’s true that I didn’t buy the tickets for this production, I feel that I’m still entitled to express my honest views especially since my daughter Bea and I wasted at least 5 hours of our Friday night (travel time + traffic included) to sit through the entire show.
Bea and I have seen a number of theater productions before this one, and we both agreed that “The King and I” is a total snooze fest. Bea almost fell asleep during the second half, and I couldn’t blame her. I looked around — the man seated to my left was actually asleep, as well as the man right behind Bea. I constantly apologized to my little girl for inflicting such physical and mental torture upon her, when she should have been in the comfort of our own bed, sleeping. Sitting through the 3-hour show was an ordeal for us (and it didn’t stop there; more details later). Rodgers and Hammerstein were obviously uninspired when they created the songs, only a couple of songs in this production can be considered memorable. In fairness to Resorts World, the set design was nothing short of grand and the costumes were all very impressive and top-notch. They were a real visual delight. The actors are all seasoned theater performers: Leo Tavarro Valdez (What is up with the whole middle name shebang?!? As if theater-goers will find that easier to remember.) headlines as the King of Siam; Monique Wilson plays the role of English school teacher, Anna Leonowens. Mr. Valdez is a good actor and singer, I just did not find the King character lovable at all. Everyone knows that Ms. Wilson is a highly accomplished theater actress and mentor, having established her own theater group, New Voice Academy, and being an acting teacher at the University of Essex, “et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.” However, her portrayal of Anna for me was a bit too trying-hard, I’m sorry to say. Plus, I was kind of distracted by her lisp (was I the only one who noticed? Could it be that I was already asleep with my eyes open?). You know how some people who wear orthodontic braces pronounce the “s” sound as “th”? That’s how Ms. Wilson’s speaking voice sounded to my ears. But she’s not wearing braces.
There was nothing exciting about the story, nothing compelling about the direction. My Bea thinks that the show is “so boring” — and she’s being polite at that. My only consolation is that I didn’t shell out money for this forgettable theater experience, with the exception of the playbill (or souvenir program) which I bought for P300, just because Bea likes to collect them. To my friends who are interested to watch “The King and I”, I only have this piece of advice: Save your pesos for Disney on Ice instead. But if you must watch “The King and I”, go for the balcony seats and not the more expensive ones. You have been forewarned.
Postscript: Resorts World Manila on a Friday Night
Well, I’ve never had a so-called night life even when I was single, so the Friday night crowd in Resorts World came as a complete shock to me. Parking spaces had run out, so our driver had to look for a parking space a very long way from the main entrance. When we emerged from the theater at past 11:00 pm, we pushed our way through the throng and had to walk hundreds of meters to the open carpark, where still more people were waiting in line — standing up(!) — to pay the parking fee. I have never seen anything like it before. For such a world-class entertainment complex, the pay parking system is so primitive! I wonder who is the genius behind all this. Off with his head!!! Even if we live practically 15 minutes away from Resorts World, Bea and I got home at around 12:30 am. It’s safe to say that we are never going back to Resorts World on a Friday night ever again. And I mean ever.