Couple enjoying roles in ‘King and I’


For Nathalie Cruz, the time was right to return to the stage.

“Since COVID, I took a step back to do what I feel like I missed while doing theater straight for 10 years,” the Carmel resident said. “Three years is a long time to be gone, and the calling to be on stage has somewhat become palpable.”

Nathalie is sharing the stage with her husband Ian Cruz in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of “The King and I,” which runs through May 19 at the Indianapolis venue.

Nathalie has performed in ‘Victor/ Victoria,’ ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ and “West Side Story’ with her husband.

“This is another one for the books,” Nathalie said. “It’s a memory that we will both have fun looking back for sure.”

Ian is definitely enjoying it.

“Although we only have one scene together, it’s a gift to me to witness her brilliance in the various roles she’s played, but especially in her role of Lady Thiang in our current production when she’s on stage,” Ian said. “I believe it’s been more than a decade, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone,’ since we’ve been together on stage, so it’s always a treat when we get the chance to do so just because it’s fun.”

This is Ian’s second time performing at Beef & Boards, having appeared in “Footloose” last year.

Carmel High School senior Sam Tiek said he has wanted to return to Beef & Boards for a long time.

“I really enjoy the atmosphere the theater provides, and joining this cast has been such a cool experience,” Tiek said.

Tiek is part of the ensemble.

“My track has me playing multiple different parts, and so I’ve enjoyed always having something to do either on stage or off stage,” Tiek said. “I was not super familiar with this story in the beginning; however, the artistic direction that the director Brian Jose has taken it is the correct one. The show is ultimately about understanding people’s differences and I think it’s a beautiful story.”

For more, visit