Jose Llana, who recently completed his latest stint as the King of Siam in the Tony-winning revival of The King and I, releases his debut solo recording, Altitude, May 13 on the Yellow Sound Label. Here, the acclaimed singing actor, who will celebrate the new CD with a concert May 16 at Joe's Pub, reveals the performances that most affected him as part of the audience.
I was in my first week of rehearsals for the ‘96 King and I when I saw this glorious production. Having just left conservatory (Manhattan School of Music), the play was profoundly familiar and overwhelming to me at the same time. Also, Audra + Zoe + Terrence McNally = Done.
Donna Murphy & Lou Diamond Phillips in The King and I (1996)
I could not have had better mentors than Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. They led by example in so many ways – with their talent, humility and leadership of the company.
“Lot’s Wife” was one of the first times I ever audibly screamed from the audience mid-song. Jeanine Tesori’s score along with Anika Noni Rose, Public Theater – stunning.
Adam Guettel’s score and those stunning performances made me want to up my game as a singer.
His comedy and timing are so brilliant. Also, the amount of joy that emitted from him onstage was so inspiring.
Amy Morton in August: Osage County (2007)
Her Act 2 closing line, “I’m running things now!” is one of the most thrilling moments of theater I’d ever experienced.
When Celia appeared out of that sofa, I nearly fainted. Gorgeous work.
The comic brilliance of Ann Harada and a shining example of brave casting.
Ruthie Ann Miles in Here Lies Love
Her performance was filled with steel and truth. The weight of responsibility in singing more than half of the score was a lesson in stamina. I was honored to have a front-row seat in witnessing the birth of a star.