The National Tour of the Lincoln Center Theatre production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I is currently wowing audiences at the Kennedy Center, and many of its cast will be spending their downtime for a special cause.
On Aug. 14, in conjunction with La Ti Do Productions, the show’s cast will perform One Night in Bangkok, a benefit concert that will help raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The one-night only evening of song and dance will take place beginning at 8 p.m., at Bistro Bistro D.C., located at 1727 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
“The Broadway community does these sort of events all the time—cabaret shows, concerts—and we’re able to see how passionate the community is about raising money for this great cause,” says LaMae Caparas, who plays Eliza in the show, and co-produced the event with Michelle Liu Coughlin. “Our company has already raised more than $100,000 in donations for the organization.”
Since the Kennedy Center run was five weeks, the cast had the time and space available to rehearse and plan a great show.
“This is part of an on-going series and we’d love to get some feedback from the D.C. audience because we plan to take this cabaret on the road to other cities during our tour,” Caparas says. “We think anyone who comes out will see something very special.”
Don Michael Mendoza and Regie Cabico, founders of La Ti Do Productions and local D.C. natives, will share co-hosting duties on the night.
“They are both really fun and comedic and they already have an audience in the D.C. arts community,” Caparas says. “I’m from D.C. so it’s really cool for me to be producing something in my hometown, especially such a great event like this.”
The King and I cast members will step out of their roles from the musical and perform some of their favorite non-Siamese material, such as tunes from Stephen Sondheim, Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift and even Lady Gaga. There will be solos, duets and large group numbers throughout the night. Plus, the kids from the show prepared a special number.
Confirmed performers include Joan Almedilla, Heather Botts, Amaya Braganza, Adriana Braganza, LaMae Caparas, Mindy Lai, Darren Lee, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Jose Llana, Michael Lomeka, Graham Montgomery, Manna Nichols, Marcus Shane, Riley Sickles, Sam Simahk and Kelli Youngman.
“There will be a range of work, from heartfelt pieces to numbers that are really fun,” Caparas says. “There will be dance numbers and it’s going to be a great deal of fun.”
One of the theater community’s biggest causes, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS helps men, women and children across the country receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance. Since 1988 the charity has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC.
To help raise even more, the night will feature a silent art auction. Lacy Roberts, head of wardrobe for The King and I, is spearheading the auction, which will include paintings, drawings, jewelry and other items.
Llana, who plays the King in the production, will also be donating signed CDs with all money raised going towards the cause.
And it’s not just the actors who are getting involved. The crew of the production is lending a hand with sound and lighting and many of the musicians will be playing along.
Tickets for One Night in Bangkok cost $25 ($40 for VIP Tickets) and can be ordered at onenightinbangkok.net.
“Doors open an hour early for VIP admission, which includes hors d’oeuvres by Bistro Bistro, a meet-and-greet with The King and I cast, and preferred seating,” Caparas says. “Even if you can’t make it to the show, you can donate on the website.”
The King and I continues its run at The Kennedy Center through Aug. 20.
Details and tickets