Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Ruthie Ann Miles Returns To Stage After Fatal Brooklyn Crash

Ruthie Ann Miles gave her first stage performance since the devastating car crash that killed her four-year-old daughter and resulted in the loss of her pregnancy. Returning to the role that won her a Tony Award in 2017, Miles appeared in the London production of “The King And I” on the West End as Lady Thiang.

Miles, a Brooklynite, was only the second-ever Asian actress to ever win a Tony Award for performance. Before her glowing turn in “The King And I” she was a regular on the New York musical theater stage and had a recurring role on TV’s “The Americans.”

Horrifically, Miles and her friend Lauren Lew were crossing the street in their Park Slope neighborhood in March when they were hit by a driver running a red light. Miles’ four-year-old daughter Abigail Blumstein and Lew’s one-year-old son Joshua were both killed. Miles was injured, and in May she lost the pregnancy she’d been carrying. Her unborn daughter was named Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein.

Two months before the crash, it had been announced that Miles would travel to London and assume her original role in the transfer of “The King and I.” After the loss of Miles’ daughter, followed by her removal from the ICU and the loss of her pregnancy, it seemed unlikely that the actress would perform in London, with various reports emerging.

On Friday night, August 3, Miles took to the stage, returning to her role. Kelli O’Hara, who won a Tony Award for Best Actress for the same production and also transferred to the London cast, wrote on Instagram: “Last night, our friend RuthieAnnMiles was a triumph in @KingandIWestEnd. Every moment was a gift and continues to be. She is singing like an angel and commanding the stage with a heavenly force. An inspiration to all. I knew you would want to know.”

Miles, whose performance as the first wife of a Thai ruler, is noted for its exceptional grace and sublime rendition of the song “Something Wonderful,” was greeted warmly my fans. “It was an absolute masterclass in strength and courage,” wrote one Twitter supporter. “I will be forever in awe of her performance and of her.”

“So good to see you back,” echoed another. And it was. Miles reportedly used a cane and took breaks during her scenes, the blocking adjusted so she could sit down. “Because of her brilliance and the depth of what she brings…all of a sudden you can’t imagine Lady Thiang being performed without a cane,” an audience member told The New York Post.

The London production opened in July. Miles will perform the role part time, split with the actress Naoko Mori, through the end of September.

Zichronam livrachah — Her children’s memories will be a blessing. And so will her performance. We bless you and wish you healing of body, mind, and spirit, Ruthie Ann.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.