BWW Previews: Ken Watanabe Returns to His Home Country in THE KING & I, at Tokyu Theatre Orb
A press event was held in Tokyo, Japan for the cast and director of the international tour of The King & I. Kelli O'Hara (Anna) stood elegantly and poised as she gushed about Ken Watanabe (The King) to his home country.KELLI: "Ken is one of the most invested and true actors that I've ever worked with. He is passionate. He makes me rise to a certain level in order to play with him. I've done this show with other Kings and there's nothing like Ken Watanabe. The intensity of his performance is something I think that makes this show a very special version of The King & I; hopefully, the most special one ever."
KEN: "The best gift I can have in bringing this show to Japan is having the chance to introduce Kelli to you all! I'm proud to be able to show off our work to Japan."
KELLI: "This show has something in it for everyone, but it's important to note that, although there are funny moments in this musical, it's not a traditional comedy. There are very serious themes to the story, so we hope that the audience can feel the balance and fall in love with the parts which touch their hearts."
I had the great fortune to sit down with them privately to talk about the changes this revival has been through, and what the story means to Japan. My interview will be published in English and Japanese soon, so make sure to check back!
Ken also spoke excitedly about having the chance to introduce Kelli, and together with director, Bartlett Sher, they hope that audiences will relate to this new show on an emotional level.
The Lincoln Center Theater's International Tour of THE KING & I
is playing at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Tokyo, Japan
from July 11th through August 4th, 2019.
To read this article in Japanese, please CLICK HERE.
*Photo credit belongs to Matthew Murphy The London Palladium Production. All images used in this article are official promotional images provided by The King & I production.