Theater News

The King and I to Welcome New Pair of Leading Men to Play Opposite Tony Winner Kelli O'Hara

Ken Watanabe is preparing to depart the Tony-winning revival.

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe star in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, directed by Bartlett Sher, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe star in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, directed by Bartlett Sher, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
(© Paul Kolnik)

The 2015 Tony-winning Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I will welcome two new Kings to Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theatre later this year. Ken Watanabe, who received a Tony nomination for his performance in the title role, departs the company on July 12.

Replacing Watanabe beginning July 14 is Broadway vet Jose Llana, last seen onstage as Ferdinand Marcos in Here Lies Love (opposite the King and I's Tony-winning Lady Thiang, Ruthie Ann Miles). Llana will play an 11-week engagement, through Sunday, September 27. Beginning September 29, Hoon Lee, the star of the Cinemax televsion series Banshee, last seen on Broadway in the 2004 revival of Pacific Overtures, will assume the role.

Directed by Bartlett Sher, The King and I also stars Kelli O'Hara in her 2015 Tony Award-winning performance as Anna Leonowens. She, Miles, and Watanabe are joined by a 48-member company that includes 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, Jake Lucas as Louis, Paul Nakauchi as Kralahome, Marc Oka as Phra Alack, Betsy Morgan (standby for Kelli O'Hara).

The ensemble is made up of Aaron J. Albano, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Billy Bustamante, LaMae Caparas, Hsin-Ping Chang, Andrew Cheng, Lynn Masako Cheng, Olivia Chun, Ali Ewoldt, Ethan Halford Holder, Cole Horibe, MaryAnn Hu, James Ignacio, Christie Kim, Kelvin Moon Loh, Sumie Maeda, Paul HeeSang Miller, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Kristen Faith Oei, Autumn Ogawa, Yuki Ozeki, Stephanie Jae Park, Diane Phelan, Sam Poon, William Poon, Brian Rivera, Bennyroyce Royon, Lainie Sakakura, Ann Sanders, Ian Saraceni, Atsuhisa Shinomiya, Michiko Takemasa, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Rocco Wu, and Timothy Yang.

The King and I features sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, and lights by Donald Holder (all three nominated for 2015 Tony Awards); and sound by Scott Lehrer (2015 Drama Desk Award nomination). The production, which features an orchestra of 29 conducted by music director Ted Sperling, is performed with the musical’s original 1951 orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.

For tickets to The King and I, click here.

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