Broadway vet Jose Llana returns for the 20th season of American Songbook, four years after his sold-out appearance at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. He’ll be performing in The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm. Click here for tickets.
Two decades since the teenaged Jose Llana made his Broadway debut as Lun Tha in the 1996 revival of The King and I, the classically trained tenor has retained his boyish charm and “youthful bravado” (New York Times), now enhanced with the gravitas of a seasoned star. His standout performance as Ferdinand Marcos in the 2013 David Byrne and Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, directed by Alex Timbers, earned Llana a host of rave reviews, along with a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical. As a recording artist, the “charismatic and then some” singer (Showbiz 411) has released two solo albums, Altitude and Jose—both best sellers in his native Philippines—and been featured on numerous cast albums.
In 2015 Llana returned to his Broadway roots, taking over the role of the King of Siam in Bartlett Sher’s Tony Award–winning revival of The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater and its subsequent touring production.
In Spring 2019, Llana will lead the UK tour of The King and I as The King, with Annalene Beechey as Anna, fresh from her West End success at the London Palladium.
The majestic production will open in Manchester in April 2019, and then visit Dublin, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Woking and Southampton. Click here for the touring schedule and to book tickets.
The news of the tour comes hot off the heels of the cinema release of the live production of The King and I: From the London Palladium, which has become the biggest live event in cinemas of 2018 following last week’s first global screenings. The production in cinemas has taken in excess of $2.5m at the box office already. In the UK the film reached the number one spot, with more than double the box office of the next film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. More than 135,000 movie goers packed cinemas across the globe for the initial performance to watch The King and I: From the London Palladium – filmed on stage at the iconic London Palladium. Such has been the demand for tickets, Trafalgar Releasing has scheduled encore screenings both in the UK and globally throughout December and into 2019. The film has already broken all equivalent records.
The West End critics heaped praise on The King and I, the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while the The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit”. Daily Express hailed it “London’s theatrical event of 2018” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.
Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production and be reunited with the celebrated creative team that brought this majestic production of The King and I to life at the Palladium earlier this year.
Also joining the cast will be Kok-Hwa Lie in the role of Kralahome and Aaron Teoh as Prince Chulalongkorn. Edward Baker-Duly will take on the dual roles of Orton and Ramsay and William M Lee will play Phra Alack. The female ensemble will include Yuki Abe, Miiya Alexandra, Aiko Kato, Misa Koide, Ela Lisondra and Ena Yamaguchi. The male ensemble will include Irvine Ray Abesamis, Cletus Chan, Steven Hardcastle, Eu Jin Hwang, Jesse Milligan, Prem Rai and Joaquin Pedro Valdes. The Swings will be Rachel Jayne Picar, Nick Len and Jasmine Leung.
Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. With one of the finest scores ever written including: Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, and full scale orchestra, The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.
THE KING AND I UK TOUR
26 April – 11 May 2019
Manchester Opera House
26 April – 11 May 2019
Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin
5 – 15 June 2019
16 – 26 October 2019
29 October – 9 November 2019
Leeds Grand Theatre
10 December 2019 – 4 January 2020
New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham
8 – 18 January 2020
Cardiff Millenium Centre
28 January – 8 February 2020
King’s Theatre Glasgow
11 – 22 February 2020
New Theatre Hull
25 February – 7 March 2020
Milton Keynes Theatre
10 – 21 March 2020
Liverpool Empire Theatre
24 March – 4 April 2020
7 – 18 April 2020
New Victoria Theatre Woking
21 April – 2 May 2020
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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