Article 129

Chamberlain charms crowd at Louis Vuitton reception

It was all smiles at Louis Vuitton's crowded reception for Richard Chamberlain and "The King and I" cast members and guests at LV's Ala Moana store Sunday night. Chamberlain humorously talked about getting in the show and playing the role of the king. "It's a great musical and I was last in line (for the part)," he said. "They wanted an Asian." Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa had dropped out of the show. Chamberlain says they reached down in the bottom of the barrel and "pulled me out." Ha! Landing a star such as Chamberlain was the best thing that could have happened for the Hawaii Opera Theatre's summer season. "It's a most wonderful musical and I was hoping it would work out," Chamberlain continued. "I've stood in line for a lot of things - a long time for 'Shogun' and also for 'The Thorn Birds.' " Chamberlain, surrounded by women who wanted to be photographed with him, was in a light-hearted, charming, accommodating mood.

"Richard was very kind to step in," said HOT's General and Artistic Director Henry Akina. "He's done very well with it and made the role of the king his own. I don't think anyone who comes will miss Yul Brynner at all." Akina had high praise for others. "Jan Maxwell, for me, gave the definitive portrayal of Anna." He said Jordan Segundo was "marvelous," Kristian Lei was "fabulous" and gave much credit to director Martin Rabbett. The musical winds up this weekend and tickets are going fast, Akina said ... Louis Vuitton is sponsoring HOT's summer season. Jean-Marc Gallot, President of Louis Vuitton North America and Hawaii, attended Friday night's opening.

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