The King and I (Broadway)

The King and I (Broadway & Tour)

The Broadway revival of The King and I with music by Richard Rodgers with book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II opened on April 11, 1996 and ran for 780 performances (and 27 previews) until February 22, 1998 at the Neil Simon Theatre. Based upon the novel “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon.

Produced by Dodger Theatricals, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, James M. Nederlander, Perseus Productions, John Frost and The Adelaide Festival Centre. Produced in association with The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization; Associate Producer: Abbey Butler, Melvyn J. Estrin and Hal Luftig. Executive Producer: Dodger Productions.

Directed by Christopher Renshaw; Choreographed by Jerome Robbins; Music orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett; Musical Director: Michael Rafter; Additional orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin; Musical staging by Lar Lubovitch; Scenic Design by Brian Thomson; Costume Design by Roger Kirk; Lighting Design by Nigel Levings; Sound Design by Tony Meola and Lewis Mead; Hair and Wig Design by David H. Lawrence.

Starring Donna Murphy (Anna Leonowens, Mar 19, 1996 – Mar 21, 1997), Lou Diamond Phillips (The King of Siam, Mar 19, 1996 – Jun 15, 1997), John Chang (Prince Chulalongkorn), Joohee Choi (Tuptim), John Curless (Captain Orton), Ryan Hopkins (Louis Leonowens), Randall Duk Kim (The Kralahome), Taewon Kim (Lady Thiang), Jose Llana (Lun Tha, Mar 19, 1996 – Jun 29, 1997), Guy Paul (Sir Edward Ramsey, Mar 19, 1996 – Jun 1997), Tito Abeleda (Ensemble, Simon of Legree, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), John Bantay (Ensemble, Dog, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Kelly Jordan Bit (Fan Dancer, Royal Child), Lexine Bondoc (Princess Yaowlak, Royal Child), Kailip Boonrai (Royal Child), Camille M. Brown (Ensemble, Archer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Benjamin Bryant (Ensemble, Propman, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet, Mar 19, 1996 – Jun 29, 1997), Meng-Chen Chang (Ensemble, Angel George, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Kam Cheng (Ensemble, Singer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Vivian Eng (Ensemble, Archer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Lydia Gaston (Ensemble), Margaret Ann Gates (Ensemble, Singer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), C. Sean Kim (Ensemble, Guard, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Shawn Ku (Ensemble, Guard, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Jacqueline Te Lem (Royal Child), Erik Lin-Greenberg (Royal Child), Doan MacKenzie (Ensemble, Dog, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Kenji Miyata (Royal Child), Paolo Montalban (Ensemble, Propman, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Alan Muraoka (The Interpreter, Ensemble, Propman, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Paul Nakauchi (Ensemble, Propman, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Brandon Marshall Ngai (Royal Child), Tina Ou (Ensemble, Topsy, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Andrew Pacho (Ensemble, Guard, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Mami Saito (Ensemble, Uncle Thomas, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Lainie Sakakura (Ensemble, Archer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Amy Y. Tai (Royal Child), Tran T. Thuc Hanh (Ensemble, Little Eva, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Carol To (Ensemble, Singer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Yolanda Tolentino (Ensemble, Singer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Jenna Noelle Ushkowitz (Royal Child), Shelby Rebecca Wong (Royal Child), Jeff G. Yalun (Royal Child), Yan Ying (Ensemble, Eliza, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Kayoko Yoshioka (Ensemble, Archer, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet), Greg Zane (Ensemble, Dog, “Small House of Uncle Thomas” Ballet).

Star replacements included: in the role of Anna Leonowens, Faith Prince (Mar 22, 1997 – Dec 14, 1997) and Marie Osmond (Dec 19, 1997 – Feb 22, 1998), and in the role of The King of Siam, Kevin Gray (Jun 17, 1997 – Feb 22, 1998).

Swings: John Bantay (Partial Swing), Lydia Gaston (Partial Swing), Jonathan Giordano, Devanand N. Janki, Susan Kikuchi , Shawn Ku and Joan Tsao, and Standby: Raul Aranas (The King of Siam).

Understudies: Benjamin Bryant (Lun Tha), Kam Cheng (Tuptim), John Curless (Sir Edward Ramsey), Lydia Gaston (Lady Thiang), Jonathan Giordano (Louis Leonowens), Barbara McCulloh (Anna Leonowens), Paolo Montalban (Lun Tha), Alan Muraoka (The Kralahome), Paul Nakauchi (The King of Siam, The Kralahome), Guy Paul (Captain Orton), Carol To (Tuptim) and Yolanda Tolentino (Lady Thiang),

Associate Costume Design: Nancy Palmatier; Associate Scenic Design: Patrick Fahey; Associate Lighting Design: Michael Baldassari and Associate Sound Design: Jason P. Krueger.

Production Stage Manager: Frank Hartenstein (later replaced by Karen Armstrong); Production Supervisor: Aurora Productions and Gene O’Donovan; Stage Manager: Karen Armstrong; Assistant Stage Manager: Kelly Martindale and Donna A. Drake (and later Tripp Phillips).

General Manager: David, Strong, Warner, Inc.; Associate General Manager: Robert C. Strickstein; Company Manager: Sandra Carlson; Assistant Company Manager: Matthew Shepherd;

Casting: Jay Binder; Jerome Robbins’ choreography supervised by Susan Kikuchi; Dialect Coach: Deborah Hecht; Dance Captain: Susan Kikuchi; Assistant to the Director: Jonathan Bernstein; Asst. to the Choreographer: Scott Rink and Rebecca Rigert; Assistant Dance Captain: Shawn Ku; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: Dodger Marketing; Online Marketing: Toby Simkin; Marketing Consultant: Margery Singer; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc. and National Tour Press Representative: Joyce Friedmann.

Musical Supervisor: Eric Stern; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Michael Rafter; Associate Conductor: Cherie Rosen; Concert Master: Martin Agee; Flute: Helen Campo; Oboe: Rich Dallessio; Clarinet: Jon Manasse, Larry Guy and Anthony Bracket; Bassoon: Kim Laskowski; Trumpet: Alex Holten and Chuck Olsen; French Horn: Kaitilin Mahoney and Alexandra Cook; Trombone: Dick Clark; Trombone/Tuba: Jeff Caswell; Violin: Roy Lewis, Darryl Kubian and Shinwon Kim; Viola: Crystal Garner; Cello: Stephanie Cummins and Sarah Carter; Bass: Bill Ellison; Harp: Victoria Drake; Percussion: James Baker; Keyboard: Cherie Rosen and Music Preparation: Miller Music Services.

The Broadway theatre supersite Buy Broadway OnlineAs Founder and CEO of Theatre.com and BuyBroadway.com.  The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. The theatre press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” What started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in the early 90’s, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as Theatre.com at the Minskoff Theatre.

The global theater supersite theatre.comDescribed by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members (in the 1990’s this was massive). From buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights live broadcasts), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, theatre.com offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers globally.

The King and I Synopsis

Anna is a widowed British schoolteacher brought to Siam to tutor the King’s many children. When she arrives, though she enjoys an instant connection to the students, she struggles with cultural differences and with the headstrong King. Through her kindness and persistence, Anna eventually connects with the King, helping to fuel mutual feelings of social understanding and cultural acceptance and openness.

THE KING AND I
Broadway & Tour

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AWARDSAwards

1996 Tony Awards

  • Winner: Best Revival of a Musical
  • Winner: Best Actress in a Musical – Donna Murphy
  • Winner: Best Scenic Design
  • Winner: Best Costume Design
  • Best Actor in a Musical – Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical – Joohee Choi
  • Best Lighting Design
  • Best Direction of a Musical

1996 Drama Desk Awards

  • Winner: Best Musical Revival
  • Winner: Outstanding Director of a Musical
  • Winner: Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
  • Winner: Outstanding Costume Design
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical – Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Donna Murphy
  • Outstanding Lighting Design

1996 Theatre World Awards

  • Winner: Joohee Choi
  • Winner: Lou Diamond Phillips

Did You Know?

Gertrude Lawrence in The King and I“The King and I” got started when, in 1950, when Gertrude Lawrence went to see the film “Anna and the King of Siam” with her mother in law and asked her manager to look into acquiring the rights thinking a musical version would be ideal. Lawrence wanted Cole Porter to write the score, but when he proved unenthused, Lawrence sent the book to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers initially hesitated, but realized the story had strong potential, and the two agreed to write what ultimately became “The King and I”.

On 16 August 1952, Gertrude Lawrence fainted backstage after a Saturday matinee of “The King and I”.  She succumbed to widespread liver and abdominal cancer on September 6, 1952 after playing in “The King & I” on Broadway for a year and a half. She requested, and was she was interred in the family plot in Lakeview Cemetery in Upton, Massachusetts wearing the famous 70 pound champagne-colored gown designed by Irene Sharaff and worn for the “Shall We Dance?” in Act II.  (the “Shall We Dance?” sequence was added in the Boston tryouts)

According to the New York Times, 5,000 people crowded the around the Presbyterian Church at the intersection of East 55th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, while a further 1,800 others, including Yul Brynner, Marlene Dietrich, Phil Silvers, Moss Hart and his wife Kitty Carlisle attended her funeral.

She was the first person for whom the lights were dimmed in all Broadway theatres due to her death.

Musical Numbers

Act One:

Overture (Orchestra); “I Whistle a Happy Tune” (Donna Murphy, Ryan Hopkins); “Royal Dance before the King” (choreography by Lar Lubovitch) (Company); “My Lord and Master” (Joohee Choi); “Hello, Young Lovers” (Donna Murphy); “March of the Siamese Children” (The Royal Children); “A Puzzlement” (Lou Diamond Phillips); “Getting to Know You” (Donna Murphy, The Royal Wives, The Royal Children); “We Kiss in a Shadow” (Jose Llana, Joohee Choi); “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” (Donna Murphy); “Something Wonderful” (Taewon Kim); Finale Act One (Company)

Act Two:

“Western People Funny” (Taewon Kim, The Royal Wives); “I Have Dreamed” (Jose Llana, Joohee Choi); “Hello, Young Lovers” (reprise) (Donna Murphy); “The Small House of Uncle Thomas” (Ballet) (Eliza: Yan Ying; Simon of Legree: Tito Abeleda; Angel George: Meng-Chen Chang; Little Eva: Tran T. Thuc Hanh; Topsy: Tina Ou; Uncle Thomas: Mami Saito; Dogs: John Bantay, Doan Mackenzie, and Greg Zane; Guards: Andrew Pacho, C. Sean Kim, and Shawn Ku; Propmen: Benjamin Bryant, Paolo Montalban, Alan Muraoka, and Paul Nakauchi; Archers: Camille M. Brown, Vivien Eng, Lainie Sakakura, and Kayoko Yoshioka; Singers: Kam Cheng, Margaret Ann Gates, Carol To, and Yolanda Tolentio); “Song of the King” (Lou Diamond Phillips, Donna Murphy); “Shall We Dance” (Donna Murphy, Lou Diamond Phillips); “Procession of the White Elephant” (choreography by Lar Lubovitch) (Company); “I Whistle a Happy Tune” (reprise) (Donna Murphy); Finale (Company)

For fun, here is my parody of THE KING AND I from early 2020

Parody of THE KING AND I - The Queen and I by Toby Simkin

See about 100 more of my Broadway parodies

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