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Stephen Arlen

Stephen Arlen as the King of Siam in "The King and I," 1972

Stephen Arlen as the King of Siam in The King and I, 1972

Stephen Arlen was the second actor that Summer Theatre brought in to act with local performers.  He starred as the King of Siam in The King and I.  Arlen was not the original choice; a theatre agency was supposed to bring in George Chakiris from the London stage production and film version of West Side Story.  When these plans fell through, the agency arranged for Arlen to come instead.

Arlen made his Broadway debut in Cry for Us All in 1970.  He was also in a 1980 production of the French play La Cage aux Folles, which is the basis for both the stage musical of the same name and the 1996 American movie The Birdcage.

Arlen was an experienced actor, but not as well known as the performers brought in during the previous and following years.  This was true in part because he was a Welsh stage actor who was better known in Europe.  Since he was not widely known in America, his presence did not draw in large audiences.