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S47 Ep7

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I

Premiere: 11/8/2019 | 00:00:30 | Closed Captioning Icon

Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe star in a Tony Award-winning revival of the beloved musical about a British schoolteacher instructing the royal children of the King of Siam, featuring classic songs including “Shall We Dance?" and “Hello, Young Lovers.”

About the Episode

Premieres Friday, November 8 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app

Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed 2015 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic 1951 musical directed by Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”) went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Based on a true story, the year is 1862, and East and West collide when British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens arrives in Siam (modern day Thailand) to take up her post instructing the royal household of children from the King’s several wives. Despite her sharp wit and strong will, nothing has prepared Anna for the lessons this rich and complicated new land has to teach her—or for the powerful connection she will forge with its imperious but conflicted King. The score features a treasure trove of timeless Rodgers & Hammerstein hits including “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “We Kiss in a Shadow,” “Getting to Know You,” “Something Wonderful,” “I Have Dreamed” and “Shall We Dance?” With a cast of over 50 people, this “first-rate, sumptuous” (The New York Times) production was “too beautiful to miss” (New York magazine). The production was recorded during its 2018 run in London’s West End with original Lincoln Center Theater cast members Ken Watanabe as the King and Kelli O’Hara in her Tony-winning performance as Mrs. Anna, along with Ruthie Ann Miles as “head wife” Lady Thiang, who won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a musical.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I is part of Great Performances’ third annual “Broadway’s Best” lineup of acclaimed theatrical productions, premiering Fridays, November 1-29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app. PBS station members can view the entire Great Performances“Broadway’s Best” lineup beginning November 1 via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

Major funding for “Broadway’s Best” on Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Phillip and Janice Levin Foundation, Seton J. Melvin, the Lenore Hecht Foundation, and PBS.

Websites:,, @GPerfPBS #GreatPerformancesPBS #BroadwayOnPBS



♪ Getting to know you Something wonderful is coming your way... Broadway's Tony-winning Best Musical Revival of 'Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I' ♪ And whistle a happy tune Starring Best Actress Kelli O'Hara ♪ So no one will suspect I'm afraid ♪ Ken Watanabe, Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

and Best Supporting Actress Ruthie Ann Miles, delight in the beloved musical, 'The King and I' on Great Performances.


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