LONDON (Reuters) - A Broadway revival of the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “The King and I” comes to a London stage this summer with Japanese actor Ken Watanabe and Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara reprising their roles from the New York production.
A 2015 adaptation of the musical, which tells the story of British school teacher Anna arriving in 1860s Bangkok to tutor the children of the King of Siam, had a successful run on the American stage, winning praise from critics and four Tony Awards.
Under director Bartlett Sher, it now heads to the London Palladium for a limited run, with O’Hara as Anna and “Inception” and “The Last Samurai” actor Watanabe reprising the part of the king.
“It’s like putting on an old glove, a really beautiful one,” O’Hara told Reuters in an interview about reprising the role.
“I don’t think that we assume that because it was a success on Broadway it will be a huge success on the West End, but I do feel like we have the security of having built something that we are proud of.”
The original Broadway show by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II won Russian-born actor Yul Brynner a Tony Award for his portrayal of King Mongkut. He later picked up an Oscar for the 1956 film version.
Asked if they would like to star in a film remake of the musical, Watanabe said: “Hopefully, yes”
O’Hara said: “Yes, yes, absolutely. It’s due for a revival of a movie I think. Yes, why not?”
Reporting By Edward Baran; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Robin Pomeroy