A new Broadway revival of the classic romantic musical "The King and I" is announced by Lincoln Center Theater. Ken Watanabe will play the King, while Kelli O'Hara will portray the English schoolmistress sent to Siam to teach the children of the king.
Watanabe is no stranger to stage act, but this production will mark his debut in American theater. His Japanese theatre credits include "Dialogue with Horowitz", "Hamlet", "Shitayamannen-cho monogatari", "The Lion in Winter", and "The Royal Hunt of the Sun".
O'Hara, meanwhile, is a five time Tony-nominated soprano. She was recently nominated for her role in "The Bridges of Madison County" which just closed in May.
The play will begin previews on March 12, 2015 before opening on April 16 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Bartlett Sher serves as a director, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli using the original Jerome Robbins dances. Michael Yeargan and Catherine Zuber will handle the sets and costumes.
Based on the novel "Anna and the King of Siam" by Margaret Landon, the story was first turned into play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II in 1950s. The most recent one was in 1996 with Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips on the lead roles. Yul Brynner played the King in the original play and reprised his role in the 1977 and 1985 revivals.