Guest Post by David Thomas – Head of Theatre at Super Break
It is one thing to have a landmark show returning to the West End. It is quite another to have a landmark production of one of the greatest musicals of all time. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours “getting to know” the inside story of the Lincoln Centre Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King And I” which previews at the world-famous London Palladium from the 21st of June.
With four Tony Awards, including the coveted Best Musical Revival, to its name, and starring the original leads of the Broadway production (“Broadway musical’s undisputed Queen,” Kelli O’Hara, and Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild-nominated, Ken Watanabe) London audiences will now have the opportunity to experience the phenomenal on-stage chemistry that triumphed so spectacularly in New York.
That Rodgers & Hammerstein magic rang out loud and clear at the North London rehearsal studios yesterday as classic numbers such as “Getting To Know You,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Hello Young Lovers,” seemed to acquire a whole new freshness and relevance.
And as the Director, Bartlett Sher, so succinctly summed up, the power of these truly great musicals, as with great Shakespeare plays, is that they are there for each generation to rediscover and render, and relish anew.