Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

THE KING AND I Tour Starring Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly, Begins Performances in Providence on October 30

Jose llana as The King of Siam in The King and I. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Jose llana as The King of Siam in The King and I. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly

Jose Llana (King of Siam) and Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) will lead the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater Tony Award winning revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I, produced by Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations LLC. Llana starred in the recent revival at Lincoln Center Theater.

Joan Almedilla will play Lady Thiang with Brian Rivera as Kralahome, Manna Nichols as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha, Anthony Chan as Prince Chulalongkorn, Graham Montgomery as Louis Leonowens and Baylen Thomas as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey.

The tour will launch in Providence, RI October 30-November 6, 2016, and will play multi-week and single week engagements throughout the 2016-17 touring season and beyond. Please find complete schedule at

Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang

Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Bartlett Sher had this to say about the leads in THE KING AND I: “Jose was so superb on Broadway in The King and I that I begged him to join us on the tour and l feel we are incredibly lucky to have him. He brings such joy and virility and strength to the King. And he is one of Broadway’s great talents.

“Laura Michelle has one of the best voices on Broadway matched with an extraordinary heart. Her work on Finding Neverland and Mary Poppins distinguished both of those shows with her natural grace and joy. She will be an exquisite Anna Leonowens.”

The ensemble includes Heather Botts, LaMae Caparas, Andrew Cheng, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Daniel Johnson, Nicole Ferguson, Marie Gutierrez, Mindy Lai, Darren Lee, Q Lim, Stephanie Lo, Michael Lomeka, Nobutaka Mochimaru, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Yuki Ozeki, Marcus Shane, Sam Simahk, Michiko Takemasa, Jeoffrey Watson and Kelli Youngman, with Kayla Amistad, Jaden Amistad, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Rylie Sickles, Rhyees Stump, Noah Toledo and CJ Uy as the Royal Children.

THE KING AND I, directed by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, won four 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical. Hailed as “first-rate, sumptuous” (The New York Times) and “too beautiful to miss” (New York Magazine), the production played 538 performances on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. THE KING AND I has music direction by Ted Sperling, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber (Tony Award® winner for THE KING AND I), lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. THE KING AND I features choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that 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 modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

For more information including the 2016-17 touring schedule, please visit, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Check THE KING AND I in a city near you.

  • Providence, RI
    Providence Performing Arts Center
    11/01/16 – 11/06/16
  • San Francisco, CA
    SHN – Golden Gate
    11/15/16 – 12/11/16
  • Los Angeles, CA
    12/13/16 – 01/21/17
  • Seattle, WA
    01/24/17 – 02/03/17
  • Cleveland, OH
    02/07/17 – 02/26/17
  • Minneapolis, MN
    02/28/17 – 03/05/17
  • Houston, TX
    Hobby Center
    03/14/17 – 03/19/17
  • Philadelphia, PA
    Academy of Music
    03/22/17 – 04/02/17
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    04/04/17 – 04/09/17
  • Boston, MA
    Opera House
    04/11/17 – 04/23/17
  • Fort Myers, FL
    Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
    04/26/17 – 04/30/17
  • Tampa, FL
    Straz Center
    05/02/17 – 05/07/17
  • Miami, FL
    Arsht Center
    05/09/17 – 05/14/17
  • Hartford, CT
    The Bushnell
    05/30/17 – 06/04/17
  • Durham, NC
    Durham Performing Arts Center
    06/06/17 – 06/11/17
  • Chicago, IL
    Oriental Theatre
    06/14/17 – 07/09/17
  • Charlotte, NC
    07/11/17 – 07/16/17
  • Washington, DC
    Kennedy Center Opera House
    07/18/17 – 08/20/17
  • Greenville, SC
    Peace Center
    08/22/17 – 08/27/17

More cities to be announced soon.

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and

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