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The King and I Film Release Reaches Number One At Cinema Box Office

The King And I

The film version of the multiple Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I: FROM THE LONDON PALLADIUM has become the biggest theatre event in cinemas of 2018 following yesterday’s (29 November) screenings around the world. The production is expected to take $2.5m at the box office. In the UK the film reached the number one spot, with more than double the box office of the next film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

More than 135,000 movie goers packed into cinemas across the globe to watch THE KING AND I: FROM THE LONDON PALLADIUM – filmed on stage at the iconic London Palladium.  Such has been the demand for tickets, Trafalgar Releasing has scheduled encore screenings both in the UK and globally throughout December.

 Producer Howard Panter says: “The response from cinema audiences around the world has been phenomenal.  And I’m delighted that THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM is now the biggest theatre event in cinemas of the year, taking the number one position at the Box Office.  The demand for tickets has been so huge that we have scheduled many more encore screenings of the film all over the world – giving an even greater number of people the opportunity to enjoy this lavish award-winning production.”

 Trafalgar Releasings Marc Allenby says: “We are thrilled to have produced and distributed this incredible production, having watched it come to life on the big screen and seen the amazing reaction from audiences around the world. It’s been fantastic to add The King and I to our roster of musical theatre this year alongside An American in Paris and Funny Girl.”

 This majestic production, directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, first opened on Broadway in 2015 for a critically acclaimed 16 month run at The Lincoln Center Theater, this was followed by an unprecedented record-breaking sold out USA tour.  The show then transferred to the London Palladium in June this year, with the three original Broadway lead actors reprising their starring roles – Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for The King and IKelli O’HaraTony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe and Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for The King and IRuthie Ann Miles.

 The London production drew huge critical acclaim, played to packed houses, received nightly standing ovations and smashed box office records – including the biggest grossing week in the London Palladium’s history, taking £1,058,317.50 for an eight performance week.

 Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.  With one of the finest scores ever written including; Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, and featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.

What the press have said about The King And I cinema version:

“The screened version of this year’s Palladium run brings a completely new perspective to the show, not only delivering a true reflection of the live experience, but enhancing it beyond expectations”

BroadwayWorld.com

 “A superlative capture of a splendid production brings the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic to a new audience” 

Sydney Arts Guide

 “Rendered in high definition and featuring the best seats in the house, the presentation is faultless”

Modmove.com

 

The King and I: From The Palladium Cinema Trailer Released

The King And I

The multiple Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I – currently enjoying huge West End success – is to be released in cinemas around the world this autumn by Trafalgar Releasing.  THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM, filmed on stage at the iconic London Palladium, will open in cinemas for one night only on 29 November*.  Tickets are now on sale.

This unmissable majestic production, directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, first opened on Broadway in 2015 for a critically acclaimed 16 month run at The Lincoln Center Theater, this was followed by an unprecedented record-breaking sold out USA tour.  The show then transferred to the London Palladium in June this year, with the three original Broadway lead actors reprising their starring roles – Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for The King and IKelli O’HaraTony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe and Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for The King and IRuthie Ann Miles.  The London production continues to draw huge critical acclaim, smash box office records – including the biggest grossing week in the London Palladium’s history, taking £1,058,317.50 for an eight performance week, play to packed houses and receive nightly standing ovations.

With the announcement of November’s cinema release, even more theatre lovers across the globe will be able to watch “Broadway musical’s undisputed Queen (The Sunday Times) Kelli O’Hara take to the stage as Anna, Ken Watanabe in a “powerhouse” (The Times) performance as The King and the “powerfully moving” (New York Magazine) Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang in THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

With one of the finest scores ever written including; Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, and featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.

WHAT THE UK PRESS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE KING AND I:

Five stars for a sumptuous King and I.  Book Now.  It’s a hit”

★★★★★

The Times 

“The evening belongs to Kelli O’Hara”

★★★★★

Sunday Express 

“We left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music – joyous!”

★★★★

Daily Mail

 

“Looks and sounds ravishing.  Complete rapture”

★★★★

Daily Telegraph

“Simply spellbounding!”

★★★★

Financial Times

“Without doubt the big, glitzy musical of the summer!”

 Metro 

“Fit for a King!”

 Daily Express

 

Final four weeks of THE KING AND I at the London Palladium

THE KING AND I
THE KING AND I

THE KING AND I

The multiple Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I currently enjoying huge success will end its limited engagement at the London Palladium on Saturday 29 September.

The final four weeks of performances is the very last chance for audiences to see the three original Broadway leading actors reprising their starring roles – Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for The King and IKelli O’Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King and Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for The King and I) and Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang.

Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, the 16-week season of this unmissable, lavish and majestic production has smashed box office records – including the biggest grossing eight performance week in the London Palladium’s history, taking £1,058,317.50 – played to packed houses and received standing ovations at every performance.  Such has been the demand for tickets, an extra five matinees have been added to the performance schedule.

The critics have heaped praise on “the big glitzy musical of the summer” (Metro) too. The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit” and urging its readers to “book now”.  The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”.  Another five stars from the Sunday Express and huge plaudits for Kelli O’Hara “who gives one of the most deeply felt, gloriously sung performances seen on the musical stage”. The Financial Times agreed, describing O’Hara’s performance as “simply spellbinding”.  Ken Watanabe and his “powerhouse” (The Times) performance as The King was also lauded by the Evening Standard for its “thunderous charisma”.  While the Daily Mail “’left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”.

Producer Howard Panter says: “The response from London audiences to this multi award-winning production of The King and I has been unprecedented.  Critical plaudits, Box Office records and standing ovations at every show – we have enjoyed them all.  But to have the three original Broadway stars – Kelli, Ken and Ruthie – reprising their roles in the West End in one of the greatest musicals of all time is a very rare treat indeed. The final four weeks throughout September will be the last chance to see this incredible trio of fine actors on stage at the world-famous London Palladium – this really is musical theatre at its very best.”

The Palladium production also stars the multi-award-winning actor, and star of one of Japan’s most popular television series JIN, Takao Osawa as The Kralahome and Dean John-Wilson and Na-Young Jeon as the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim. The role of Lady Thiang is shared between Ruthie Ann Miles and Naoko Mori.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.  With one of the finest scores ever written including; Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, and featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, THE KING AND I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.

Following the London season, a film version of the production will be released in cinemas around the world by Trafalgar Releasing. THE KING AND I: FROM THE PALLADIUM,filmed on stage at the Palladium, will open in cinemas for one night only on 29 November.  Tickets are on sale now.

WHAT THE UK PRESS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE KING AND I:

Five stars for a sumptuous King and I.  Book Now.  It’s a hit”

★★★★★

The Times

 

“The evening belongs to Kelli O’Hara”

★★★★★

Sunday Express

 

“We left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music – joyous!”

★★★★

Daily Mail

 

“Looks and sounds ravishing.  Complete rapture”

★★★★

Daily Telegraph

 

“Simply spellbounding!”

★★★★

Financial Times

 

“Without doubt the big, glitzy musical of the summer!”

 Metro

 

“Fit for a King!”

 Daily Express

 

Listings Information

LONDON PALLADIUM

Tickets: £15 – £75, Premium Seating available

Box Office: 020 7087 7755

 

Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm

Extra matinee performances at 2pm on 6, 13, 20, 27 September

No performance on 4, 11, 18 September

 

On Monday 17 September and Wednesday 26 September (matinee performance) Ms Kelli O’Hara will not be appearing and Ms Annalene Beechey will be playing Anna Leonowens.

 

On Thursday 6, 13, 20 & 27 September (evening performances) Mr Ken Watanabe will not be appearing and Mr Takao Osawa will be playing The King of Siam. At these performances Mr Kok-Hwa Lie will be playing the Kralahome.

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KingandIWestEnd/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KingandIWestEnd 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kingandiwestend/

Hashtag: #TheKingandI

 

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 Is ‘The King and I’ the most problematic musical of all time? Yes and No

The King and I
The King and I

The King and I

Most lavish and exciting musical revival of 2018, so far? No contest: The King and I.

67 years on from its Broadway debut, whatever our differences elsewhere, I hoped there’d be one thing which we’d all agree on. The King and I is a timeless classic and this is a show of considerable quality. This is an evening of full-blown spectacle with swankingly grand West End production values and ranks as one of the most entertaining nights out at a theatre that I have had for quite some time.

An opinion confirmed when I took my seat at The London Palladium this week. Kelli O’ Hara, making her west end debut quietly commanded the stage and wrestled with the complex score and glorious melodies unfurled before me, which, for a theatre fan, is like finding the source of the Nile. The kids are gorgeous, the storytelling is delicate, forceful and ambiguous.

Anyway, this golden age musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein is about a 19th Century British widow who travels to Siam (now Thailand) to tutor its monarch’s many children; think of it as a more nuanced version of The Sound of Music. (interestingly, The King and I was written eight years before The Sound of Music)

I don’t expect you to watch it, obviously, but if you have the time and money, then do. It’s as funny, heart-warming and brilliantly structured as a musical can be. But the most remarkable thing is, major elements of it are now considered politically incorrect. Sure, it is dated, lengthy and teeters on imperial condescension. But for me it is about status, and the old embracing the new. The story and characters are racist in our time but isn’t in its own and occasionally becomes stuck and unable to transcend from that place. Hmm.

If nothing else, though, we can all agree that The King and I is flawed and certain elements are offensive. If you are someone who deplores slavery and colonialism, which is to say you are a sensible person, then well done. As the reviews quickly demonstrated, ranging from three to five stars. Certain critics, and columnists, have of course, leapt on the show and its ‘problematic’ material.

Reviewing the production, which won four Tonys in 2015 for the Broadway revival, the Guardian’s Michael Billington said The King and I “seems to endorse the idea of the civilising influence of the west on the barbaric east.” Time Out’s Andrzej Lukowski labelled the musical “kind of racist… like an elderly relative who you make allowances for on grounds of age.” Meanwhile, The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish calls the show “one of the most problematic musicals of the 20th Century American canon.”

But do we write The King and I out of history? Surely it is better to present it in all its ‘problematic’ detail and fire the minds of the twenty-first century theatre goer so that such things don’t ever happen again. It should be planting new conversations.

Nevertheless, condemning the unease with which the discourse around this show is something that we should all be doing. The majority of the reviews, interviews and ‘buzz’ having been written by white men who would not dream of admitting that this great liberal democracy has afforded them all the most extraordinary privileges in life, including, an expensive private education, for which without it they would swiftly have no point, purpose, job or income, obviously. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

The King and I runs at the London Palladium until 29 September.

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So I went along to the launch of The King and I yesterday

Bartlett Sher’s Broadway hit musical The King and I is heading to the London Palladium for a limited 14-week engagement, before a tour that will see the show visit Asia.

I went along to the launch. There were goodie bags and bucks fizz and it was frankly amazing. Here is what happened.

Press and media type people

Press and media type people

Doors opened at 11.15 am but I didn’t want to look too eager, so I arrived at WAC Centre, Belsize Park at about 11.20am. The invite promised breakfast and while there was no porridge on offer I did find some miniature sausage rolls, and mixed berries on cocktail sticks.

After a while we were led into a rehearsal room for a presentation and cast Q&A.

Sir Howard Panter – lead producer-  appeared and made some amusing comments.

Original Broadway cast members Kelli O’Hara, who won a Tony award for her portrayal of Anna, and Japanese movie star Ken Watanabe file into the rehearsal room with various cast members and give us a look at several of the show’s toe-tapping numbers.

The orchestra fire up and O’Hara storms the space like a celestial being with ‘Getting To Know You’. What a voice. What. A. Woman.

Several numbers from the show are performed and then we are gifted, from the theatre Gods, an excerpt of ‘Shall We Dance’. Incredible scenes.

There was a huge round of applause and I went off to chat to Na-Young Jeon (Les Miserables) and Dean John Wilson (Aladdin) who will play the young lovers, Tuptim and Lun Tha.

How do they think the morning went? “It was nice to have an audience because we’ve been playing to a blank space for four weeks. It’s nice to get a round of applause at the end of things. We’re super excited,” he says.

What, I ask, can this production of The King and I say to modern audiences about feminism. “People might not come and see the show because they may think that it is dated. But I really want to say because it is Rodger’s and Hammerstein it is so beautiful and sweeping you will love the music. It is also a very modern revival; I think especially now with Me Too movement and so many strong women alongside strong men saying that we deserve the same rights it is relevant. So, I hope that fifty years later The King and I will still be timeless and people will think we’ve achieved something,” she says.

“Right now – what a time to put a show on like this – the way that society is going. It is an old story but it is so relevant to today. It is a timeless story,” he says.

Here is a photo of us after our chat. Don’t we look happy.

Left to right - Dean John-Wilson, Me & Na Young-Jeon

Left to right – Dean John-Wilson, Me & Na Young-Jeon

Anyway, it is a golden time for diversity on our capital’s stages, it feels like a significant overdue moment for BAME representation in the West End with shows like Tina, Kinky Boots, Lion King, Hamilton, Dreamgirls & Motown the Musical.

So, I suppose the big question is this: why revive The King and I? Why now?

A sixty-seven-year-old musical about a mid-twentieth century schoolteacher teaching Victorian values at the court of the King of Siam could be problematic. Will this production interrogate Orientalism? Are the gender and race politics, in abstract terms, outdated and harmful? Food for thought, ladies and gentlemen.

Either way it was an 10/10 sort of morning full of feeling and I cannot wait to see this exceptionally gifted company bring a bit of class back to the West End. Let us hope they put a fresh spin on a familiar tale…

The company of The King and I take a bow

The Company of King and I

The Company of King and I

The King and I runs at the London Palladium from June 21 until 29 September

https://kingandimusical.co.uk/

The King and I – New Casting & Final Booking Period Extension Announcement

King and I
King and I

King and I

Dean John-Wilson (who starred in the title role of Disney’s original West End production of Aladdin) and Na-Young Jeon (Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End and Gigi in Miss Saigon on world tour) join the West End cast of THE KING AND I as the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim. They will join Tony Award winner and “Broadway musical’s undisputed Queen” (Sunday Times) Kelli OHara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King and Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang.  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s multi-award winning musical transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium on 21 June(Press Night 3 July).

THE KING AND I also today announces that the London Palladium engagement will extend for a final three weeks until Saturday 29 September.  This is the very last opportunity West End audiences will have to see the Broadway stars reprise their original roles on the London stage, as Kelli O’Hara will return to Broadway to star inKiss Me Kate and Ken Watanabe has filming commitments.

 Five extra matinees on Thursdays (30 August, 6, 13, 20 and 27 September) have been added to the London Palladium performance schedule.  This follows continued unprecedented demand for tickets, with early performances already sold out.  Much like it’s acclaimed 16 month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and record-breaking sold out USA tour, The King & I is tipped to be London’s must-see musical of 2018 

Dean John-Wilson played the title role in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre and was a semi-finalist on Britains Got Talent in 2008.  His other theatre credits include:  Miss Atomic Bomb and Songs For a New World at The St James’ Theatre, Aquino in Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, Tim Rice’From Here to Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Sister Act: The Musical UK Tour.

Netherlands born Na-Young Jeon played Gigi in the international tour of Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Misérables in South Korea and in the West End.  Other theatre work includes Esmerelda in Notre Dame de Paris in South Korea and Bianca in Kiss Me Kate in Amsterdam.  On TV she played the lead in Conny and Clydeand Bo in Van Hier Tot Tokio and her films include The Calling and Hitomi.

 Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will direct the production, hot on the heels of his work on The Lincoln Center Theater’s World Premiere of J.T. Rogers’ smash hit play Oslo, which opened on Broadway and then transferred via the National Theatre to London’s Harold Pinter Theatre in October last year to rave reviews.  He, along with the celebrated creative team behind the award-winning production of South Pacific and the Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady which began previews this week, will reunite to bring this majestic production to life at the London Palladium.  

 With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this masterpiece – one of their finest works – boasts a score featuring such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We DanceI Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful.   Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.

What the USA press have said about The Lincoln Center Theater broadway production of The King And I

 “I’ll doubt I’ll ever see a better production in my lifetime.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

“Something wonderful indeed. Breathtaking. Exquisite. Remarkable.”

NEW YORK TIMES 

“Five stars. Grand and glorious.”

TIME OUT NEW YORK

“A landmark production and a shot of purest rapture. I never wanted it to end.”

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Too beautiful to miss! An astonishing achievement.”

NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“Absolutely stunning. Kelli O’Hara is ravishing. Ken Watanabe is powerfully seductive. Chalk up another triumph for Lincoln Center Theater.”

VARIETY

“Magnificent. A sweepingly romantic production. How good to be getting to know the show all over again.”

NEWSDAY 

“Simply divine. You can’t overstate how stunningly beautiful, how achingly well sung this new revival is.”

NEW YORK POST

“This splendid revival emerges as majestic and intimate simultaneously. Grandeur and grace fill each scene and song. O’Hara and Watanabe share warm chemistry.”

DAILY NEWS

“Splendid! This just may be, in fact, the finest staging of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my experience.”

THE WASHINGTON POST