Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of Producing Artistic Director, André Bishop) has announced that Kelli O’Hara will play Anna Leonowens, and Ken Watanabe will play the King of Siam, in its new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 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 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.
The Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I will feature the musical’s original Jerome Robbins choreography, with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lights by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer, orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett, and music direction by Ted Sperling. (Additional casting for Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I will be announced at a later date.)
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.