The King and I announces two new Kings


The Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I which is currently running at the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre, has announced upcoming cast changes for the role of The King of Siam.

Jose Llana will takeover the role from current King Ken Watanabe, who was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance, from 14 July 2015. Hoon Lee will then assume the role beginning performances on 29 September 2015.

Ken Watanabe will play his final performance on 12 July 2015.

They will join the current cast which also includes Kelli O'Hara as Anna Leonowens and Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, who both won Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical respectively at the 2015 award ceremony.

The cast for the musical includes Ashley Park (as Tuptim), Conrad Ricamora (as Lun Tha), Edward Baker-Duly (as Sir Edward Ramsey), Jon Viktor Corpuz (as Prince Chulalongkorn), Murphy Guyer (as Captain Orton), Jake Lucas (as Louis), Paul Nakauchi (as Kralahome), and Marc Oka (as Phra Alack).

This revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on 16 April 2015, following previews from 12 March 2015, where it is currently booking to 3 January 2016.

The production opened to glowing reviews and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, eventually winning four: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Kelli O'Hara), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Ruthie Ann Miles), and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Catherine Zuber).

Directed by Bartlett Sher, the production features design by Michael Yeargan, lighting by Donald Holder, sound design by Scott Lehrer and costumes by Catherine Zuber.

Jose Llana starred as President Marcos in the musical 'Here Lies Love' at the Public Theater. His Broadway credits include 'Wonderland', 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee', 'Flower Drum Song', 'Rent', 'Streetcorner Symphony', and the 1996 production of 'The King and I', in which he performed the role of Lun Tha.

Hoon Lee appeared on Broadway in 'Pacific Overtures' (Roundabout Theatre Company), 'Flower Drum Song', and 'Urinetown'. His off-Broadway credits include the Public Theater productions of 'Yellow Face' (Theatre World Award, Drama League Award nomination) and 'Love's Labour's Lost'.

- by Dom O'Hanlon

Jose LlanaHoon Lee