A mother’s courage took center stage in London this weekend.
Ruthie Ann Blumenstein bravely returned to acting for the first time since that horrific March 5 afternoon in Park Slope, when her 4-year-old daughter and unborn child were killed when an erratic driver slammed into them as they crossed the street.
Reprising her Tony Award-winning role as Lady Thiang in “The King and I,” Blumenstein, 35, whose stage name is Ruthie Ann Miles, willed her body to perform — taking short rests in a chair, and using a cane to steady her stride as she walked onto the boards of the London Palladium.
Her indomitable spirit needed no help at all.
“She is singing like an angel and commanding the stage with a heavenly force,” castmate Kelli O’Hara tweeted after Saturday’s matinee.
The night before, Miles — who had tears rolling down her cheeks as she was enveloped by rapturous applause — was nothing short of “a triumph,” O’Hara added.
Her cane — which is not written into the “King and I” — may soon be, audience members said.
“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,” said an audience member.
Both days, theatergoers knew they were in the midst of something truly extraordinary.
“The warmth she gave onstage was absolutely matched by the warmth she got at curtain call,” the audience member told The Post. “The Palladium wrapped its arms around her.”
The person added: “Their reaction to her was purely based on her performance, not sympathy. And they all embraced her as one.”
Miles, about 30 weeks pregnant, was crossing Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue with her daughter Abigail, a friend, Lauren Lew and Lew’s son Joshua, 1, when Dorothy Bruns, 44, lost control of her car and slammed into them. Bruns, 44, had a history of medical seizures, crashes and driving infractions.
Abigail and Joshua were killed and both moms had to be hospitalized. Miles’ unborn daughter, who had been named Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein, died in May from the injuries the actress sustained.
Miles’ comeback surprised even veteran stage watchers.
When it was reported in June that the she planned to join the London show, which opened in July, producers quickly denied it.
“We consider Ruthie a beloved member of The King & I family in the West End, and she is welcome to join the production at any point,” they said in a statement. “However, to be clear, no such decision has been made at this time.”
On Friday, “Mean Girls” actress Ashley Park, who appeared in the same production of “The King and I” on Broadway three years ago, sent her love to Miles “as she performs with unspeakable bravery, rawness, and brilliance in London for the first time tonight.”
Miles will perform at the storied West End theater through Sept. 29.
Ben Rubinowitz, a spokesman for the family, said, “It’s just a testament to the courage, strength and bravery of both of them, Jonathan and Ruthie Ann.”
“She really is taking it a day at a time, trying to get by.”
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