By Adam Hetrick
13 Apr 2014
Produced by John Frost, the revival of the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic first played the Adelaide Festival Theatre in 1991, starring Hayley Mills under the direction of Christopher Renshaw. That staging later arrived on Broadway in 1996 starring Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. It was the first Australian production ever to transfer to Broadway. A 2000 London revival with Elaine Paige followed.
The Gordon Frost Organisation and Opera Australia are collaborating to remount the production that will also play seasons in Melbourne (beginning June 10) and Sydney (beginning Sept. 9).
McCune and Rhodes, who also co-starred in the Australian staging of the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific, play Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam. Rhodes, however, will only appear in the Sydney and Brisbane seasons, while Jason Scott Lee will star as the King in the Melbourne season.
The Australian revival cast also features Shu-Cheen Yu as Lady Thiang. Shu-Cheen starred as Tuptim in the 1991 Australian revival of the musical. She is joined by Adrian Li Donni as Lun Tha, Jenny Liu as Tuptim, Marty Rhone as the Kralahome and John Adam as Sir Edward Ramsey/Captain Orton.
The ensemble includes Bianca Baykara, Novy Bereber, Will Centurion, Jade Coutts, Teresa Duddy, Vivien Emsworth, Elle Evangelista, Carolyn Ferrie, Chris Fung, Kiana Gallop-Angeles, Erin James, Emma Jarman, Patrick Jeremy, Leah Lim, Anna MaGrath, Seann Matthew Moore, Matthew Nguyen, Alexis Pedraza-Sampang, Hayannah Pickering, Marcus Rivera, Michelle Rozario, Ariya Sawadivong, Victor Siharath, Nicholas Sopelario and Yong Ying Woo.
The King and I features the original Jerome Robbins choreography, recreated by Susan Kikuchi. Renshaw again directs alongside the original creative team from the 1991 revival, including Tony-winning costume designer Roger Kirk, Tony-winning scenic designer Brian Thomson and Tony-nominated lighting designer Nigel Levings. Sound design is by Michael Waters. Peter Case is the musical director. Neil Rutherford is associate director.
Based on Margaret Landon's 1944 novel "Anna and the King of Siam," The King and I features such songs as "We Kiss in a Shadow," "I Have Dreamed," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Getting to Know You," "Shall We Dance? and "Hello, Young Lovers."