Ken Watanabe is The King of Siam in THE KING AND I

WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 6/30/14 at 12:58 PM
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
He's a great actor.

It says Kelli will also star. Has that been confirmed?
....but the world goes 'round
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
Damned good casting.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
I would consider this confirmation of Kelli.
n2nbaby
Featured Actor
joined:10/22/10
Holy crap! This is wonderful casting.
Taryn
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/04
broadway86
Broadway Legend
joined:10/8/03
I need to see this.
http://robbyhorror.blogspot.com
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Wonderful news! This is sure to be a beautiful production. The Playbill article confirms they're using the original orchestrations, as well.
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
"The Playbill article confirms they're using the original orchestrations, as well."

One of the few things in recent years that I will be buying tickets in advance for. I also want to see it on opening week before the tourist audience settles in.

HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 6/30/14 at 01:19 PM
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
Sigh. When will white actors' time come on Broadway? Yet another lead role going to an Asian. I mean, right, Jon???


I had no idea they were going for such a big name. This is truly WONDERFUL casting. Ken Watanabe is just perfect for this role. Name recognition outside of theatre cricles, an imposing and magisterial figure, and someone who will, no doubt, have plenty of chemistry with his leading lady. Man, this production went from must-see to will-sell-After8's-firstborn to get a ticket.

Updated On: 6/30/14 at 01:22 PM
kade.ivy
Stand-by
joined:7/28/13
So exciting! I'm glad to hear about what is shaping up to be a beautiful, traditional Broadway production! Glad that Kelli is officially confirmed and that they went with Watanbe! This is officially on my list of shows to see next summer.
StickIt
Featured Actor
joined:8/29/08
Just curious: do people have a problem with the fact that he is Japanese and not Southeast Asian? I'm curious because here and on other boards, there was a lot of discussion about the problematic nature of casting someone who is racially inappropriate in this day and age, but the discussion mostly focused on white males being suggested for the role.

There was a bit of handwringing here over some other casting decisions in recent years taking jobs from Southeast Asian actors specifically, so I wondered if this casting was troubling for anyone?
NYadgal
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/04
Fabulous!
"Two drifters off to see the world... there's such a lot of world to see"
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
Perfect casting!
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Wow, this is incredible. I'm so happy they're using the original orchestrations as well.
nomore.org
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
"Just curious: do people have a problem with the fact that he is Japanese and not Southeast Asian?"

No, to white people, all Asians are interchangeable. Korean is Vietnamese is Laotian is Thai is etc., etc., etc.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
SOMETHING WONDERFUL.
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Heaven.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04


Wonderful! And Christopher Gattelli overseeing the original Jerome Robbins musical staging--which means we'll get a GORGEOUS "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet!

yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
jawjuhh
Understudy
joined:5/29/11
I don't really have a problem with it, but I'm Chinese not Thai. Asians are obviously not interchangeable but at this rate I'm just glad he's not being played by a white actor. Slowly inching towards progress
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
Wow, if this casting is as good as people are saying, I will defientely consider this,

Hopefully, Kelli will get her Tony next year and it sounds like she could.
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Well, I don't think where he's from regionally matters. He's an actor. He's going to act the part.
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
How fantastic!
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
So effing excited. Now those thinking they won't go with Kelli can relax.
#sadandtransparent
StickIt
Featured Actor
joined:8/29/08
"Well, I don't think where he's from regionally matters. He's an actor. He's going to act the part."

A lot of people seemed to disagree with that idea when the idea was brought up of someone like Michael Cerveris. I was just wondering if people were still upset even though Watanabe is Asian, though not Southeast Asian but rather Japanese. To me, I'm excited to see him in the part, but I can understand the argument for racially accurate casting.

IMO this has a lot to do with it sadly:
"No, to white people, all Asians are interchangeable. Korean is Vietnamese is Laotian is Thai is etc., etc., etc."

LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
StickIt, I'm personally fine with him not being of Thai ancestry... we take what we can get, really.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4

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