R&H Veteran Martin Vidnovic Is Royalty in New King and I Tour, Starting June 14

News   R&H Veteran Martin Vidnovic Is Royalty in New King and I Tour, Starting June 14
Martin Vidnovic, no stranger to Rodgers and Hammerstein, having played Jud Fry in the 1979 Broadway run of Oklahoma!, suits up in regal duds for the new national tour of R&H's The King and I.
Martin Vidnovic in the 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma!
Martin Vidnovic in the 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma!

Theater Of the Stars, Christopher B. Manos, producer, in partnership with the Independent Presenter's Network, announced the casting.

Tony Award nominee Vidnovic will star as the King of Siam opposite Sandy Duncan from June-December 2004. After kicking off in Pittsburgh June 14-20, at the Benedum Center, the tour will visit Atlanta, Dallas, St. Paul, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco and elsewhere.

From January 2005-December 2005, Stefanie Powers, star of film, TV and stage, will assume the role of British Anna Leonowens, the schoolteacher who comes to 19th-century Siam to oversee the royal children — and ends up imposing democratic ideas.

Casting of The King, opposite Powers, will be announced in the fall.

Martin Vidnovic played Lun Tha when Yul Brynner brought The King and I back to Broadway in 1977. (That cast is preserved on an RCA recording.) Vidnovic can also be heard as the voice of "The King" in the animated feature film version of "The King and I," now on video. His Broadway credits and awards include a Tony nomination as Tommy in Brigadoon; and L.A. Drama Critics Award for Jud in Oklahoma!, during its pre-Broadway tour; a Drama Desk Award as Nick in Maltby and Shire's Baby; lead male singer in A Grand Night For Singing; Sky Masterson in the revival of Guys and Dolls; Jupiter in Olympus On My Mind; Antinuous in Home Sweet Homer (also with Yul Brynner); King Saul in Disney's King David.

With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, The King and I score includes "Hello Young Lovers," "I Whistle A Happy Tune," "Shall We Dance?" and "Getting To Know You."

Baayork Lee will direct the tour, with choreography by Susan Kikuchi. Musical direction is by Kevin Farrell, scenic design is by Kenneth Foy, costume design is by Roger Kirk, lighting design is by John McLain and sound design by Abe Jacob.


Talent runs in Vidnovic's family. His daughter is Tony Award nominee Laura Benanti (Into the Woods, Swing!).

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