Tony-Winning Revival of The King and I Will Return to Australia

News   Tony-Winning Revival of The King and I Will Return to Australia
Australian producer John Frost has announced plans to revive his 1991 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival when it transferred to Broadway in 1996.

The King and I will open in April 2014 at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane. The production will then tour to the Princess Theatre, Melbourne in June, followed by an engagement at the Sydney Opera House in September. It will be produced by Gordon Frost Organisation and Opera Australia.

Casting has not been announced.

Christopher Renshaw directed the revival, which marked the first Australian production to transfer to Broadway. It used the original Jerome Robbins choreography, with scenic design by Brian Thomson, costume design by Roger Kirk, lighting design by Nigel Levings and sound design by Tony Meola and Lewis Mead. The production used the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations, with additional orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin.

"John Frost's production of The King and I is a classic example of taking a theatrical risk - a risk that ended up paying off better than anyone could have imagined," said Ted Chapin, president and executive director of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization in a statement. "John's resume didn't necessarily warrant him being handed the rights to one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's best shows, but he was enthusiastic and spirited - characteristics I am happy to say he still possesses today - and persuasive. Seeing the production in Melbourne was one of the most exciting nights of my life, and that started the world-wide roll-out which, of course, included a triumphant run on Broadway. I am so looking forward to seeing it again, and Opera Australia is our perfect modern partner."

An Australian production of Lincoln Center Theater's Tony-winning revival of South Pacific is currently touring Australia to acclaim. The Broadway revival of The King and I opened April 11, 1996, at the Neil Simon Theatre. It starred Tony Award winner Donna Murphy and Tony nominee Lou Diamond Phillips. The revival played 27 previews and 780 regular performances.

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."

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