Tony-Nominated 'The King and I' Sets 2016 Tour Plans
The rapturously reviewed Lincoln Center Theater revival, up for nine Tony Awards, has been playing to capacity houses since the start of previews.
Lincoln Center Theater, director Bartlett Sher and legendary musical-theater composing team Rodgers and Hammerstein proved a winning combination both in New York and on tour with the 2008 revival of South Pacific. The company's current production of The King and I is aiming to replicate that success.
Following sellout business since the start of previews on March 12, which has intensified since the April 16 opening accompanied by across-the-board rave reviews, LCT has confirmed plans to extend the run of The King and I at its flagship Vivian Beaumont Theater indefinitely. The company also on Wednesday announced that a national tour of the revival will launch in Providence, R.I., in Nov. 2016.
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Lead presenters on the tour will be Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations. Casting and additional engagements will be announced at a future date, with both multi-weekend and single-week stints being planned throughout the 2016-17 season.
The King and I is nominated for nine Tony Awards, including best musical revival, direction, lead actor Ken Watanabe, lead actress Kelli O'Hara and featured actress Ruthie Ann Miles.
The production features an ensemble cast of 51, with a 29-piece orchestra, both of which presumably will be somewhat scaled down for the tour.
Sher's South Pacific staging for LCT, which also starred O'Hara, won seven Tonys, including best musical revival, direction and lead actor. The production ran for more than two years on Broadway, grossing $96.5 million. It proved a major draw in its North American tour, playing 111 cities over 100 weeks between Aug. 2009 and May 2012, also traveling to London and multi-city stops in Australia.
Tony season invariably sparks a wave of tour announcements for Broadway shows, which many industry pundits believe are helpful in securing the voting support of road presenters. Recent weeks have seen tour plans announced for Finding Neverland, An American in Paris and, yesterday, On the Town.