Ken Watanabe makes his American stage debut as the King of Siam opposite Kelli O’Hara as Anna Leonowens, in Lincoln Center Theater’s new production of The King and I, with music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The cast also features Ruthie Ann Miles (as Lady Thiang), Ashley Park (as Tuptim), Conrad Ricamora (as Lun Tha), Edward Baker-Duly (as Sir Edward Ramsey), Jon Viktor Corpuz (as Prince Chulalongkorn), Murphy Guyer (as Captain Orton), Jake Lucas (as Louis), Paul Nakauchi (as Kralahome), and Marc Oka (as Phra Alack). The production, to be directed by Bartlett Sher, will begin performances Thursday, March 12, 2015, and open on Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65 Street).
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful. Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.
Featured in the ensemble of the 51-member cast are Aaron Albano, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Billy Bustamante, LaMae Caparas, Hsin-Ping Chang, Andrew Cheng, Lynn Masako Cheng, Olivia Chun, Ali Ewoldt, Ethan Halford Holder, Cole Horibe, MaryAnn Hu, James Ignacio, Christie Kim, Kelvin Moon Loh, Sumie Maeda, Paul HeeSang Miller, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Kristen Faith Oei, Autumn Ogawa, Yuki Ozeki, Stephanie Jae Park, Diane Phelan, Sam Poon, William Poon, Brian Rivera, Bennyroyce Royon, Lainie Sakakura, Ann Sanders, Ian Saraceni, Atsuhisa Shinomiya, Michiko Takemasa, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Rocco Wu, and Timothy Yang.
Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The King and I will feature choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.
The King and I will have sets by Michael Yeargan; costumes by Catherine Zuber; lights by Donald Holder; sound by Scott Lehrer; and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. The production will feature the musical’s original 1951 orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett with dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann. Music director Ted Sperling will conduct a 29-piece orchestra.
BARTLETT SHER, Resident Director of Lincoln Center Theater, won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for his direction of LCT’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific. His other LCT productions include Golden Boy, Blood & Gifts, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. His other Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County, Prayer for My Enemy, The Butterfly Collection, Cymbeline, Waste, Don Juan, and Pericles. He directed the operas Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, L’Elisir d’Amore (Metropolitan Opera); Romeo et Juliette (Salzburg Festival and La Scala); Mourning Becomes Electra (Seattle Opera and New York City Opera); and Two Boys (Met and ENO). He was the Artistic Director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre and was also a Resident Director of Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater.
KELLI O’HARA returns to Lincoln Center Theater where she was nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in The Light in the Piazza and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Her Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Nice Work if You Can Get It (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony nomination and Drama Desk nominations), The Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Off- Broadway: Far From Heaven, King Lear, Bells Are Ringing, My Life With Albertine. Film/TV: Sex and the City 2, Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Blood Brothers, Alexander Hamilton, and “Numb3rs”. Her recordings include Always and Wonders of the World on Ghostlight Records.
KEN WATANABE will make his American stage debut in The King and I. His Japanese theatre credits include Dialogue with Horowitz, Hamlet, Shitayamannen-cho monogatari, The Lion in Winter and The Royal Hunt of the Sun. For his work in film, Watanabe received Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for The Last Samurai. His motion picture credits also include Inception, Letters from Iwo Jima, Memoirs of a Geisha, Batman Begins and Godzilla. Watanabe is currently preparing to shoot Gus Van Sant’s Sea of Trees and Martin Scorsese’s Silence.
The King and I will be performed Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Beginning April 21, all Tuesday evening performances will begin at 7pm. Tickets, priced from $87 to $162, are now available at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65 Street), at telecharge.com, or by visiting KingandIBroadway.com. A limited number of tickets priced at $32 are available at every performance through LincTix, LCT’s program for 21 to 35 year olds. For information and to enroll, visit LincTix.org.
Lincoln Center Theater is grateful to the Stacey and Eric Mindich Fund for Musical Theater at LCT for their leading support of this production. American Express and The Jerome L. Greene Foundation are the major sponsors of The King and I. Generous support is also provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Florence and Robert Kaufman, The New York Community Trust-Mary P. Oenslager Foundation Fund, and Stephanie and Fred Shuman.
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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