The King annoints his final cast members

Marty Rhone editorialLeading Australian theatre producer John Frost and Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini have announced that Australian music legend and theatre icon, Marty Rhone, will join the upcoming multimillion dollar production of The King and I in the featured role of The Kralahome.

Marty Rhone is renewing his association with The King and I that began 35 years ago with the record breaking production at the London Palladium starring Yul Brynner and Virginia McKenna. In this West End production, Rhone played the young lover Lun Tha, and coming full circle this time he will play the dramatic role of The Kralahome, the King’s Prime Minister.

Many people will remember Rhone from his roles in Class of ’75 and Number 96, or his pop hits Denim and Lace and Mean Pair of Jeans. Most recently he has finished shooting the feature film Rise and recording a new Australian music anthem album, Legends of The Southern Land, with industry colleagues including Tommy Emmanuel and John St Peeters.

Also joining the impressive cast list for The King and I in ensemble roles will be Novy Bereber, Iggy Cabral and Erin James.

Australia’s favourite leading lady Lisa McCune will play English governess Anna Leonowens opposite internationally acclaimed baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as The King in the Brisbane and Sydney seasons, hot from their success performing together in the national tour of South Pacific, also presented by Opera Australia and John Frost. In Melbourne, the King will be played by international stage and screen star Jason Lee Scott.

The King and I also stars John Adam as Sir Edward Ramsay, Shu-Cheen Yu as Lady Thiang, Adrian Li Donni as Lun Tha and Jenny Liu as Tuptim.

The King and I was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s fifth musical together and is considered one of the jewels in their crown. It was based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam, which took its inspiration from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, a British governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam (now Thailand) in the early 1860s. The beautiful score includes the songs I Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance? and Hello, Young Lovers.

The King and I opens in Brisbane at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in April, then moves to the Princess Theatre, Melbourne in June, followed by a Sydney season at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House in September. For more information and bookings, visit: www.thekingandimusical.com.au for details.

Image: Marty Rhone

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