Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly Lead THE KING AND I in Providence through Nov. 6

Jose Llana (King of Siam) and Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) are leading 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.

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in THE KING AND I. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly in THE KING AND I. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The cast features Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang, 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, which opened in Providence, RI last night to rave reviews, continues through November 6, 2016, and will play multi-week and single week engagements throughout the 2016-17 touring season and beyond. Check out the complete schedule at

Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Sue McDonald of Providence Journal writes, “Of Jose Llana, who played the King on Broadway and is now touring with this Lincoln Center Theater production, Bartlett Sher says, “He brings such joy and virility and strength to the King. He is one of Broadway’s great talents.”

Llana proves to be even more masterful than that, enlivening the King with a hysterical sense of humor and dry delivery that elicit peals of laughter from the audience. His deep voice resonates, whether he’s scolding one of his children or singing songs like “A Puzzlement.”

He plays opposite Laura Michelle Kelly, whose Anna is such a treat to experience, especially when she sings. Kelly’s rendition of “Getting to Know You” is exquisite, and her delivery of “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” is quite funny. Together, Kelly and Llana exude love, which is a powerful base for the entire show.

Also notable in the show are the solid vocal performances of Manna Nichols as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as her lover Lun Tha, and Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang.”

Providence Journal: Theater review: ‘The King and I’ is a royal delight in Providence

The Metrowest Daily News: Getting to know ‘The King and I’ all over again in Providence

WPRO News Talk 630 99.7FM: “The King and I” is a delight at PPAC

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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