Kate Baldwin to Lead The King and I
Tony nominee Kate Baldwin (Big Fish) and Broadway vet Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures) will lead the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Directed by Lee Blakeley, the production will run from April 29-May 22.
Baldwin will take on the role of Anna Leonowens, alongside Montalban as the King of Siam. Further casting will be announced. The creative team will be made up of Peggy Hickey (choreography), Jean-Marc Puissant (scenic design), Sue Blane (costume design), and David Chase (conductor).
Blakeley's production originated at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet in 2014. Inspired by Margaret Landon's novel Anna and the King of Siam, The King and I features music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Set in 1860s Bangkok, the story follows the relationship of British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam, who employs her as a tutor for his many wives and children.
After premiering on Broadway in 1951 with a cast led by Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, The King and I was seen in a 1996 revival that starred Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips, a production in which Montalban appeared. Bartlett Sher's Tony-winning Broadway revival, starring Kelli O'Hara and Hoon Lee, is currently running at Lincoln Center Theater.