Theater News

Ken Watanabe Postpones Broadway Return to The King and I

Watanabe received a 2015 Tony nomination for his performance as the King of Siam.

Ken Watanabe as the King in Broadway's The King and I.
Ken Watanabe as the King in Broadway's The King and I.
(© Paul Kolnik)

Ken Watanabe, who originated the role of the King of Siam in Bartlett Sher's Lincoln Center Theater revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I and was scheduled to return to the production on March 1, will return to the production later than expected after undergoing surgery for stomach cancer.

Watanabe received a Tony nomination for his performance when the show opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. He first departed the production on July 12 and was succeeded by Jose Llana and Hoon Lee. "I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed," Watanabe said in a statement.

Directed by Bartlett Sher, The King and I also stars Kelli O'Hara in her 2015 Tony Award-winning performance as Anna Leonowens. She is joined in a 48-member company by fellow 2015 Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Ashley Park as Tuptim, Conrad Ricamora as Lun Tha, Edward Baker-Duly as Sir Edward Ramsey, Jon Viktor Corpuz as Prince Chulalongkorn, Murphy Guyer as Captain Orton, Paul Nakauchi as Kralahome, and Marc Oka as Phra Alack.

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