Following weeks of rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger would replace Kevin Gray as the King of Siam in Broadway's The King and I, it was announced Nov. 13 by the show's producers that Gray is staying put as the monarch -- and that Marie Osmond will join the company as Mrs. Anna on Friday, Dec. 19.
Osmond will fill the hoop skirts that were worn by Donna Murphy (who originated the role in the 1996 revival and received a Best Actress Tony Award for her performance) and Faith Prince, who completes her nine-month engagement as Mrs. Anna on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Osmond is making her Broadway debut in The King and I but is in fact no stranger to the world of Rodgers & Hammerstein: She starred as Maria in the U.S. and Canadian national tour of The Sound of Music in 1994 and 1995, and reprised the role earlier this year in a tour across Southeast Asia.
She first won the hearts of the American public when she appeared with her singing brothers on TV's "Andy Williams' Show" in the '60s, and went on to star with her brother Donny on ABC's "The Donny and Marie Show." It was recently announced that Marie and Donny will be reunited on TV next year when they team up for a syndicated talk and variety show.
The King and I, starring Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips and directed by Christopher Renshaw, won a 1996 Tony Award for Best Revival. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, (212) 307-4100.