The King and I Will Return to Broadway in 2015; Will Kelli O'Hara Star?

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07 Apr 2014

Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, which was last seen on Broadway in the late 1990s, will return in a 2015 revival to be produced by Lincoln Center Theater, president and CEO of Rodgers and Hammerstein Ted Chapin revealed during an event celebrating the music of the Broadway songwriting team at the 92Y.

The news was revealed by Chapin during the April 6 presentation of the 92nd Street Y's Lyrics and Lyricists concert presentation of Getting to Know You, which offered history, anecdotes and selections from such Rodgers and Hammerstein shows as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific and The King and I.

Lincoln Center Theater has not made an official announcement of the revival.

In Playbill.com's April 4 Diva Talk column, four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara, who currently stars in The Bridges of Madison County, revealed that she was in talks to star in the revival. Her history with Lincoln Center Theater includes The Light in the Piazza and the acclaimed 2008 revival of South Pacific.

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.