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“The King’s Proposal” at Seattle Musical Theater


Following on the heels of their fantastic The Drowsy Chaperone, Seattle Musical Theater (SMT) is putting on the world premiere of a new musical The King’s Proposal or the Marriage of Princess Guido. The show’s many elements will include arranged marriage, cross dressing, sword fights, mistaken identity, a puppet show, and of course singing. If length and awkwardness of a title is a measure of comedic value, then this show is certain to be hilarious.

Originally mounted as a straight play a few years ago, The King’s Proposal has been refined and fine tuned into a musical in the time since. Anything that didn’t work was cut or changed, and what did work was put to music. The show draws inspiration from Shakespearean comedy and the works of Monty Python. Much of the plot centers on themes of mistaken identity and the occurrence of a play within a play. As for the Monty Python influences, authors Michael Govier and Curtis Williams explained that there is simply no better source for pure silliness.

Written at a cabin in the woods and workshopped in Chicago, The King’s Proposal will open with an almost entirely local cast and crew. Veteran Emerald City thespians Jacob Hutchinson and Mary-Faith Givens will play the King and Queen, while SMT’s experienced team works back stage to make the magic happen.

Speaking of theatrical magic, this show has a lot going on in the technical side as well. The large cast and multiple costume changes mean that Costume Designer J. Allbritton has created over 60 articles. The set is designed to be simple and dynamic, allowing quick changes from one scene to another. Finally, a special rig had to be created for the puppet scene, which I’ll say no more about for fear of giving something away.

New works are all too rare in the modern world of theater, but Seattle has seen some great ones none the less. With any luck, The King’s Proposal will soon join the likes of Don Giovanni and Young Frankenstein as an amazing musical that got its start here. The show opens at SMT on March 20, 2011, and runs through April 10. Tickets are available here.