The King and I
2015 | Broadway/Musical | 2:50 | English
Anna, an English widow, is hired by the King of Siam to be governess and teacher to his many children. When the ship with Anna and her son Louis docks in Bangkok, the tumult and the mean-looking people at the pier frighten them. Anna comforts Louis (“Whistle a Happy Tune”). They arrive in the palace and the splendor is breathtaking. Anna is enchanted with the children (“Getting to Know You”) but her British ways clash badly with the King. Her main complaint is that she was promised her own house while the King insists she live in the palace with his other wives. Imagine that! But the King is also tormented about how to handle his treacherous foreign enemies (“A Puzzlement”). An exasperated Anna, feeling the relationship with the King is simply a bridge too far, is nevertheless persuaded to stay by Lady Thiang, the King’s chief wife (“Something Wonderful”). Meanwhile, secret lovers, Tuptim, the King’s junior wife, and Lun Tha, seek to escape from the palace and have a life together (“We Kiss in the Shadow”). Alas a crisis is looming: a British delegation is coming to Siam hearing that it’s being ruled by a barbaric monarch. Maybe, they think, Siam should be a British protectorate. Anna tutors the King on proper English behavior (“Shall We Dance”). The evening is a big success. However, the King is very ill. He knows he must now pass the crown to his eldest son, Prince Chulalongkorn. He also realizes, with his last breath, that the Prince is going to make changes: The country must hold on to its culture and traditions but must also adapt to Western ways.
Kelli O’Hara (Anna, a genteel English widow) / Ken Watanabe ( King of Siam) / Jake Lucas (Louis, Anna’s son) / Jon Viktor Corpuz (Prince Chulalongkorn, King’s eldest son) / Ruthie Ann Miles (Lady Thiang, King’s chief wife) / Ashley Park (Tuptim, the King’s junior wife) / Conrad Ricamora (Lun Tha, Tuptim’s lover)
Why Stream This Film?
- TONY Awards: Winners, Best musical revival; Best Actress, Musical (Kelli O’Hara); Best Featured Actress, Musical (Ruthie Ann Miles); Best Costume Designer, Musical (Catherine Zuber)
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In its heart of hearts, the extraordinary deep and often underutilized thrust stage of Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater has probably always yearned to host an opera. That’s pretty much what director Bartlett Sher has wrought with his sumptuous revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 musical, THE KING and I. Broadway’s darling, Kelli O’Hara is ravishing as the English governess to the children in the royal household of the King of Siam, played by the powerfully seductive Japanese movie star Ken Watanabe. But the production itself, with its operatic sweep and opulent aesthetic, is the star of the show.
More than any of the great golden-age musicals, THE KING and I revels in spectacle. But its most impressive achievement is how it balances epic sweep with intimate sensibility.
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