Ken Watanabe is headed to Broadway


As the King of Siam

Today, in news that has me grinning ear to ear, I found out that Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha, Godzilla [2014]) is going to play the King in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstien's The King and I on Broadway opening April 16th of next year. This will be his Bway debut. Playbill reports that he is joined by Kelli O'Hara who will portray Miss Anna Leonowens.

The King of Siam is a fantastic role for him, I think, and it isn't just because he has the right look and age for it. He's also a fantastic actor, and this particular role relies more on the dramatic acting of the player, and less on singing, though he does have a few singing parts.

The King has most famously been portrayed by Yul Brynner. For the uninitiated, his role is one of a leader who wants to see his country become more modern and "scientific," as he mentions a few times. Though Anna is arguably the main protagonist of the story, the King is probably the most memorable character. At least, for me he is. This play takes place in Bangkok and most scenes are going to be in various parts of the King's palace, as Anna has been hired to tutor his wives and royal children.

Check out the video above for a look at what Mr Watanabe will be doing on stage. I understand that without context this scene looks a little weird, even creepy, but it isn't. It's just the romantic tension. The Playbill article I'm using as my source also mentions that this revival of the beloved musical will use the original choreography and musical arrangements.

[H/T JapanToday]

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Kristina Pino
Kristina PinoContributor   gamer profile

Kristina is a freelance photographer and writer from Miami now moved to Japan. She's a hardcore nerd culture enthusiast, Disney fan, sunflower admirer, and book slinger. Tweet her @geekerydo. F... more + disclosures



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