The King and I
Role: Louis / Prince Chulalongkorn / Swing
Lyric Theatre, QPAC
The King and I is the fifth musical by the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It is based on Margaret Landon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which is in turn derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. The musical’s plot relates the experiences of Anna, a British schoolteacher who is hired as part of the King’s drive to modernize his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the piece, as well as by a love to which neither can admit. The musical premiered on March 29, 1951, at Broadway’s St. James Theatre. It ran for nearly three years, making it the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history at the time, and has had many tours and revivals. Christopher Renshaw directed major revivals on Broadway (1996), winning the Tony Award for Best Revival, in the West End (2000) and in Australia in 2014. He directed A 2015 Broadway revival won another Tony for Best Revival.