Ruthie Ann Miles returned to the stage for the first time after a car crash that took the life of her 5-year-old daughter and the loss of her unborn baby.
The actress, 35, appeared in the revival of The King and I on Friday, stepping back into the role of Lady Thiang — a part that won her a Tony Award in 2015. Miles is sharing the role with Naoko Mori in the production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, which transferred from New York City’s Lincoln Center Theater and opened in London’s West End in July.
“Last night, our friend @RuthieAnnMiles was a triumph in @KingandIWestEnd,” wrote Miles’ costar Kelli O’Hara. “Every moment was a gift and continues to be.”
“She is singing like an angel and commanding the stage with a heavenly force,” O’Hara, 42, added. “An inspiration to all. I knew you would want to know.”
Many at the show and beyond shared their thoughts about Miles’ return on social media.
“@RuthieAnnMiles gave the bravest performance I have ever seen and was just incredible,” wrote one audience member on Twitter.
“Tonight was @RuthieAnnMiles first night and it was an absolute masterclass in strength and courage,” tweeted another. “I will be forever in awe of her performance and of her.”
Ashley Park, Miles’ former costar and the Tony-nominated Mean Girls star, also honored Miles on Instagram.
“Sending all my love to @ruthieannmiles who performed for the first time in London tonight,” she wrote. “Unspeakable bravery, rawness, and brilliance. What I would have given to be there. With angel cards, pranks, and apple cider vinegar for you unee. Thrilled she is surrounded by Bart, Kelli, Ken, and KING AND I family.”
In March, Miles — who was seven months pregnant at the time — was injured and her 4-year-old daughter, Abigail Blumenstein, was killed when a driver struck them in Brooklyn, New York. The driver also struck and killed 1-year-old Joshua Lew and injured his mother, Miles’ friend Lauren.
On May 17, Miles’ family lawyer, Ben Rubinowitz, announced on Instagram on her behalf that the child she and her husband Jonathan Blumenstein were expecting did not make it.
“At the time of the crash, Ruthie was pregnant and was severely injured,” Rubinowitz said.
He went on to explain that the couple had chosen a name, Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein, for their unborn daughter, adding, “The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom.”
A source previously told PEOPLE that prior to Abigail’s death, the 4 year old “was excited to be a big sister.”
“She was the brightest little spirit,” said the source. “Every time you were around her, your heart couldn’t help but shine. She had the sweetest laugh and the loveliest personality. She was very much like her mother.”
“Ruthie was a wonderful mother,” continued the source. “She always put Abigail first and was really dedicated to spending time together. The two had a very tight bond. They were inseparable.”
Another source previously told PEOPLE that Miles and her husband Jonathan “were excited about expanding their family.”
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At the time, a prosecution source told PEOPLE that Bruns was arraigned on charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault stemming from the March 5 crash that killed Abigail and Joshua.
Bruns’ lawyer entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
Previously, NYPD sources told PEOPLE that Bruns claimed she experienced a seizure at the time of the crash. The sources allege that after running the red light, Bruns then continued down the street until crashing into some parked cars. Joshua’s stroller was dragged halfway down the street with the boy in it, according to the sources.