Playing Kralahome, trusted adviser to The King of Siam, Osawa joins the likes of Kelli O’Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles, who reprise their Tony Award-winning roles of Anna and Lady Thiang respectively, along with Tony and Oscar nominee Watanabe, who plays the titular King of Siam. The young lovers of the classic musical will be played by Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim.
The hugely acclaimed production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic will make the switch from Broadway to the world-famous London Palladium this year, beginning performances in the West End on 21 June.
Takao Osawa played the titular character, and swept up a total of seven awards as Best Actor, for JIN, which was first broadcast in 2009. A second series aired in 2011. Osawa also recently lent his voice to the film Wolf Children.
Also joining the London cast are Jon Chew (Angels In America) in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn, Edward Baker-Duly (Wizard Of Oz, South Pacific) in dual roles as Sir Edward Ramsay and Captain Orton, alongside Annalene Beechey (Into The Woods).
The full ensemble cast of singers, actors and dancers will feature Kamm Kunaree, Jacqui Sanchez, Miiya Alexandra, Ena Yamaguchi, Ela Lisondra, Aiko Kato, Lily Wang, Yuki Abe, Saori Oda, Misa Koide, William Mychael Lee, Alistair So, Arthur Lee, Jorge Sprangers, Jonathan Caguioa, Cletus Chan, Jesse Milligan, Nick Len, Steven Hardcastle, Nicholas Li, Rachel Jayne Picar and Jasmine Leung.
Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher heads up 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 was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play.
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 Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful.
Set in 1860s Bangkok, The King And I 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.
Crown your summer with tickets to The King And I, here.