Marin Mazzie Is New Star of Broadway's King and I

News   Exclusive: Marin Mazzie Will Succeed Kelli O'Hara in Broadway's King and I
 
The three-time Tony nominee, who went public with her cancer battle last fall, is making a Broadway comeback.
Marin Mazzie
Marin Mazzie Mike Sharkey

Three-time Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie will succeed Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara as Anna Leonowens in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I.

O'Hara, who won the Tony Award for her performance in the role, will depart the production April 17. Mazzie is set to join the company May 3 alongside Daniel Dae Kim who will make his Broadway debut as The King of Siam. Analisa Leaming will play the role of Mrs. Anna prior to Mazzie's arrival.

This is Mazzie's first return to Broadway since going public with her battle with ovarian cancer last year. In December, she and her husband, actor Jason Danieley, announced that Mazzie is now in remission.

The singing actress was last seen on Broadway in the short-lived Woody Allen musical Bullets Over Broadway. Her stage appearances in Passion, Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate earned her Tony Award nominations.

"The decision to join King and I was very easy," Mazzie told Playbill.com. "They asked, and I said yes. I had taken my mom to see the show in December as I had not yet been able to see it, and Kelli is a friend so I was anxious to see her in her Tony Award-winning role. I had no inkling that Kelli was leaving or that I was being discussed to replace her. I absolutely loved the show. I was not only blown away by Bart’s gorgeous production and the extraordinary performances, but the story hit me in a new way and I was so deeply moved by it. When my agent called to ask if I would be interested, I didn’t even have to think about it and was just so excited at the prospect of being a part of this stunning show."

I am thrilled to be getting back onstage to tell this beautiful story. I am feeling strong, blessed and grateful.

She added, "I am thrilled to be getting back onstage to tell this beautiful story. I am feeling strong, blessed and grateful. I am delighted to be working with Daniel Dae Kim and the entire company and an added bonus is I get to wear some exquisite clothes (which is something I always enjoy)!"

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Bartlett Sher, who earned a Tony Award for the 2008 Lincoln Center Theater Broadway revival of South Pacific, directed The King and I, which opened April 16, 2015, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater and won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

The revival has choreography by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific, Newsies) based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. The original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations are also being used with dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.

The King and I reunited Sher with his Tony-winning South Pacific creative team, including scenic designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Donald Holder, sound designer Scott Lehrer and musical director Ted Sperling. Casting is by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA.

The Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical, based on the life of Anna Leonowens as well as Margaret Landon's 1944 novel "Anna and the King of Siam," includes classics such as "Hello Young Lovers," "I Whistle A Happy Tune," "Shall We Dance?" and "Getting To Know You."

The original production opened March 29, 1951, at the St. James Theatre. It starred Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence and ran for 1,246 performances. The King and I has been revived on Broadway three times; the most recent production starred Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips.

According to LCT, "Set in 1860's Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children."

Visit KingandIBroadway.com.

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