Picks and Pans Review: The King and I
It would take a very, very cold heart not to be enchanted by Donna Murphy as teacher Anna Leonownes letting her charges know how nice it is "Getting to Know You" in the sumptuously orchestrated revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic of East meeting West. Murphy, who last year won a Tony for best actress in a musical for her role in this show—her second in that category—has a lovely, lustrous soprano. While she hardly obliterates memories of Gertrude Lawrence, who originated the role in 1951, she brings great warmth and vitality to songs like "Shall We Dance?" and "Hello, Young Lovers."
Somewhat more problematic is Lou Diamond Phillips as the imperious, childish and charming ruler of Siam. Yul Brynner casts a long shadow, and try as he does, game as he is, Phillips does not bring Brynner's heft or authority to the role. (Varese Sarabande)