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

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