Michael Riedel reports in today's New York Post that Lincoln Center Theater "wants the Beaumont for its next big production - a revival of THE KING AND I starring Kelli O'Hara." BroadwayWorld.com first reported back in 2011 that the theatre was considering a Bartlett Sher helmed revival of the classic show. O'Hara is currently starring opposite Matthew Broderick in NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT.
In THE KING AND I, East versus West makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale of enormous fascination. It is 1862 in Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna's assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story. Along with the dazzling score, the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, 'The Small House of Uncle Thomas,' is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.
Kelli O'Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway's great leading ladies. She starred in the Tony Award®-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, enrapturing audiences and critics alike with her soulful and complex interpretation of Nellie Forbush, and garnering a third Tony® nomination. This fall, Kelli starred alongside Sam Waterson in The Public Theater's production of King Lear. Broadway credits include: Pajama Game (Tony®, Drama Desk, OCC Nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony®, Drama Desk Nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies and Dracula. Kelli has worked regionally and Off Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George at Reprise, My Life With Albertine at Playwright's Horizons, Beauty at the La Jolla Playhouse and as Ella Peterson in Bells Are Ringing at City Center Encores!. In addition to her critically acclaimed performance as Eliza Doolittle in the New York Philharmonic production of My Fair Lady, Kelli's concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill and in between. This year she sang at the Kennedy Center Honors as part of the Barbara Cook tribute. Among her film and television credits are Sex & The City 2, "Blue Bloods," Martin Scorsese's short The Key to Reserva opposite Simon Baker, The Dying Gaul starring Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott, 2 NBC pilots, "Alexander Hamilton" (PBS), "NUMB3RS" (CBS), "All My Children," the animated series "Car Talk," and numerous live performances on national television shows. Kelli's voice can be heard on numerous cast recordings. Her second solo album, Always is currently available on Ghostlight Records.
According to the show's official background, THE KING AND I opened on Broadway on March 29, 1951, where it proceeded to run for three years, racking up 1,246 performances. It received five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and honors for both of its stars. Very quickly the allure of THE KING AND I began to spread worldwide. Valerie Hobson and Herbert Lom starred in the original London production, and the musical scored great successes in Australia, Japan, and throughout Europe-from LE ROI ET MOI in Brussels to DER KONIG UND ICH in Berlin.