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

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WiCkEDrOcKS
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Current Avatar: Stephen Boyer, delivering a game-changing, knockout, bipolar performance in the hilarious, frightening, and brilliant HAND TO GOD.
Updated On: 6/30/14 at 12:58 PM
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tazber
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He's a great actor.

It says Kelli will also star. Has that been confirmed?
....but the world goes 'round
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Auggie27
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Damned good casting.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
neonlightsxo
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I would consider this confirmation of Kelli.
"they are going to start making money soon. Im not even talking about specific numbers like you... You're gonna see I'm right." -PhillyPinto
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n2nbaby
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Holy crap! This is wonderful casting.
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Taryn
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Whoa.
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broadway86
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I need to see this.
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Kad
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Wonderful news! This is sure to be a beautiful production. The Playbill article confirms they're using the original orchestrations, as well.
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DAME
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"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
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HorseTears
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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
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kade.ivy
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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.
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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?
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NYadgal
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Fabulous!
"Two drifters off to see the world... there's such a lot of world to see"
beautywickedlover
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Perfect casting!
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Sutton Ross
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Wow, this is incredible. I'm so happy they're using the original orchestrations as well.
Dilettante
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newintown
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"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.
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SOMETHING WONDERFUL.
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iluvtheatertrash
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Heaven.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
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Wonderful! And Christopher Gattelli overseeing the original Jerome Robbins musical staging--which means we'll get a GORGEOUS "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet!

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jawjuhh
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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
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disneybroadwayfan22
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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)
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RippedMan
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Well, I don't think where he's from regionally matters. He's an actor. He's going to act the part.
wonkit
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How fantastic!
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ljay889
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So effing excited. Now those thinking they won't go with Kelli can relax.
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"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."

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LizzieCurry
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StickIt, I'm personally fine with him not being of Thai ancestry... we take what we can get, really.
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