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The King and I (Broadway)

From 31 critic and 2,223 member reviews
Members say: Enchanting, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting

About the show

This glorious Lincoln Center Theater mounting of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. More…

This classic tale of a British schoolteacher's unexpected relationship with the imperious King of Siam features a cast of more than 50, choreography based on the original by Jerome Robbins, and a score of treasured songs including "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune" and "Shall We Dance?" in their original orchestrations.

The Wall Street Journal

"'The King and I' presents three major problems: the scenic requirements, Yul Brynner’s legendary star turn, and the writer portrayed the King of Siam as a spoiled man-child. Director Bartlett Sher’s solution: cast an Asian actor in Brynner’s role while simultaneously underlining the show’s proto-feminist aspect...The results: I doubt I’ll see a better production of 'The King and I' in my lifetime." Full Review

The Observer

"The splendid new production of 'The King and I' is everything you could want from a professionally polished production of a masterwork —lavishly designed, meticulously directed by Bartlett Sher, and magnificently performed by a heaven-sent cast of perfectionists who blend and collate like a family in love." Full Review

As Her World Turns

"This musical is so glorious that I was moved to tears on a few occasions...By the closing number, I was weeping for the beauty of it all — that I get to sit in a beautiful theater on a hot July afternoon and watch some of the best stage artists in the country present a fully realized, perfect incarnation of a classic show. It made me feel lucky to be alive. Theater, folks! It’s a powerful thing." Full Review

The New York Times

"Tamper too much with the basic appeal of this show and it capsizes. Mr. Sher sheds a light that isn’t harsh or misty but clarifying. He understands very well what makes the show work, and he delivers it clean-scrubbed and naked, allowing us to see 'The King and I' plain. He understands very well what makes the show work, and he delivers it." Full Review

The New York Times

"While this production possessed many virtues when it debuted last spring, a lightly bantering current of sexual attraction was not among them. But what a difference a king makes...Something exciting is going on at the Vivian Beaumont, a richly reimagined classic had assumed even fuller dimensions." Full Review


"Director Bartlett Sher has brought 'The King and I' thrillingly to life for a new generation. With outstanding performances from his cast, Sher brings the grandeur of opera to this mounting...Those looking for a time-honored Broadway musical realized on a grand scale could do no better." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

" An astonishing achievement..too beautiful to miss...It does expand the concept of a love story to include relationships that are impossible. In exploring them, Sher’s production is the frankest, and sexiest, I’ve ever seen. It is also the saddest. Our era allows him to show plainly what even its authors could only suggest." Full Review


"”The production itself, with its operatic sweep and opulent aesthetic, is the star of its own show. ...The show’s still pertinent theme: the dissonant dynamic when Western civilization tries to assert its values on Eastern cultures. That cultural dialogue is at the heart of this absolutely stunning show. " Full Review

New York Daily News

"Something wonderful happens quickly in 'The King and I'...This splendid revival emerges as majestic and intimate simultaneously...Grandeur and grace fill each scene and song...'The King and I' endures for its beauty and ambition." Full Review

Time Out New York

"'The King and I' arrives like the ship that heaves into the Beaumont stage: a majestic vessel, bringing many wonderful things. Sher directs with palpable respect and a care to avoid orientalist humbug...You marvel at the sophistication of the theme: intercultural change and evolution. This 'King and I' speaks a universal language of love." Full Review


"Now comes 'The King And I', in one of the most elegantly beautiful and beautifully sung productions I’ve ever seen, and the Beaumont looks like a living treasure chest for a director with the right vision and a company that can command a vast space and make it feel like your living room...This production exudes class. It’s all a feast for the eyes as much as for the ears." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The mutual fascination and eternal struggle for understanding across the cultural divide between East and West is played out on a magnificent scale in Lincoln Center Theater's breathtaking revival. Director Sher banishes even the faintest trace of patronizing exoticism from the material, treating the 1951 classic with unimpeachable dramatic integrity and emotional authenticity that are equaled by this landmark production's exquisite musicianship and vocals. " Full Review


"Director Bartlett Sher's sweepingly romantic production aches with deep, unforced understanding of the story's East/West cultural divide while luxuriating in the sumptuous pleasures of the classic...Nothing overshadows the staggering wealth of the songs...How good to be getting to know the show all over again." Full Review


"Sher’s production deftly mines the many layers embedded within. Choreographer Christopher Gatelli’s ballet for 'Small House of Uncle Thomas' seizes on the darkness and beauty of the culture. Everyone in this immense company performs to perfection." Full Review

Stu on Broadway

"Lincoln Center has done it again. The organization has revived 'The King and I,' and it is a sumptuous and majestic production. Everything about the show is grand, from the musical’s opening to the enormous cast to the towering sets. This is how to experience a Rodgers and Hammerstein production." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"This production is beautiful. It’s a piece of classic musical theatre done in a stunningly simple and simply stunning way...Go see 'The King and I' for the exquisitely staged and performed 'Shall We Dance' that will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened critics." Full Review

New York Post

"You can’t overstate how stunningly beautiful, how achingly well sung this new revival of 'The King and I' is...The music is simply divine. The cast appears to be just as transported as we are, their voices ringing with heartfelt emotion. So strong is the rest of this show that, even with a relatively weak performance by the king, you’re still getting the royal treatment." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"This 'King and I' is excellent...The production has the epic sweep that the authors intended...Sher and his leading players also investigate undercurrents of romance and physical attraction which were not evident in the original production...Sparks fly." Full Review

The Wrap

"Sher once again reveals the musical’s own enormous qualities without imposing an arbitrary interpretation..Seven years, it’s too long to wait for another reunion of Rodgers and Hammerstein, LTC, and Sher." Full Review


"Anna is summoned by the king to help modernize Siam. Her impact ends up being more personal than expected -- that’s a notion the musical presents eloquently...'The King and I' requires a regal, charismatic leading lady, and it has one who's just about perfect." Full Review

USA Today

"There are moments in 'The King and I' that may leave you grinning so hard your face will hurt. Then suddenly, without warning, you'll be fighting off tears...'The King and I' still has much to tell us about our differences and shared interests — about all the beautiful and new things we can learn from each other." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"If you’re quite sure of the lengths that can be achieved on Lincoln Center's stage, you’ll need to think again after witnessing Bartlett Sher’s breathtakingly appointed take on 'The King and I'...Judiciously stops short of fetishizing Eastern culture...It has boosted the overall theme of intersocietal behavior and respect...Sher’s intents seem to sway the story back to a uniquely feminist state of mind." Full Review


"A sumptuous production...Sher's vision subtly augments tradition...This remains a production in which all aspects have been satisfyingly thought out, and a work that stands the test of time." Full Review

Columbus Dispatch

"This 'King and I' isn’t revelatory. It merely fulfills virtually every reasonable expectation of Rodgers and Hammerstein fans who hope to be delighted anew with a familiar classic on Broadway. And that's something wonderful." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"From the very first moments of Lincoln Center’s ravishing 'The King and I,' it feels like a privilege just to be sitting in the audience...And so it goes, each scene flowing seamlessly, and splendidly, into the next, allowing for the breathtaking spectacle this musical deserves...However, the ballet brings home a fact that is hard to deny: It encourages us to identify with the prevailing world view – that European morality and culture are superior to any other." Full Review

Classic, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if You want to see an all-star production of a classic musical and hear beautiful renditions of well-known songs.

Don't see it if You're looking for a totally new interpretation or if the dated aspects of the script will surpass the rest of the production for you.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Delightful, Profound

See it if You want to see the best play on Broadway in the best venue. Beautiful story and delightful actors. Must see!

Don't see it if You don't like to leave the theater feeling happy and satisfied.

Masterful, Must see, Enchanting, Exquisite, Perfect

See it if you need to see it. This is the perfect musical. It has everything, and the entire cast (and crew) does a phenomenal job.

Don't see it if just see it.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love musicals and the original King and I with Yul Brenner

Don't see it if You don't like musicals and great memorable music.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like classic musicals with great stories,songs,and performances.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You are in love with singing and dancing and singing and dancing and the stage!!!!

Don't see it if If you are not in love with singinga and dancing and the stage. Loved this always. All time favorite!!!!

Resonant, Must see, Exquisite

See it if You want to experience a classic musical done perfectly!

Don't see it if Just go see it!!!

Delightful, Exquisite, Great staging, Masterful, Beautiful

See it if You love a good R+H show. This is one of the best shows out there and this was an exquisite production with brilliant staging.

Don't see it if See it.

Ambitious, Romantic, Masterful, Great singing, Epic

See it if You like big epic old-fashioned musicals, elabprate sets amd costumes and Rodgers & Hammerstein's most romantic score.

Don't see it if you can't watch anything with racial stereotypes or Orientalism. Because that's essential to the show's premise, NGL.

Clever, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if Great show. Fun

Don't see it if No reason not to see it

Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Must see

See it if you want a classical musical and love Rogers and Hammerstein.

Don't see it if you just don't like Golden Age musicals. It's great but it probably won't change your opinion.

Ambitious, Great acting, Enchanting, Masterful, Relevant

See it if I saw the opening preview with Wantanebe and O'Hara..awful..4 hours long so when I saw Daniel Dae Kim it was fabulous..what an actor moving

Don't see it if Don't like traditional all means go see Jose Llana on tour..he is amazing as King...and a student from Fairfax County

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great staging, Masterful, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy beautiful staging, captivating performers, and an exquisite set.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy old school musicals, get antsy quickly.

Also Beautifully done show! The actors, dancers, and set meld together to t... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite, Great singing

See it if you like King and I

Don't see it if you don't like King and I

Masterful, Great staging, Exquisite

See it if You love a good story, amazing songs, wonderful characters, and a good cry.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy musicals.

Delightful, Funny, Masterful, Must see, Great singing

See it if You love the classic story be revived into a masterpiece.

Don't see it if The story is uninteresting to you.

Absorbing, Delightful, Funny, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if You love the classic story or if you enjoy singing and humor. It also is for romantics who enjoy a good love story.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy musicals. It is not for you if you are not interested in customs and traditions from other parts of the world.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you loved the movie and the music. This is a classic! Great staging, costumes, and dancing.

Don't see it if learning about other cultures is not your thing

Enchanting, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if A fresh take on a classic that makes it relevant today

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing

See it if You love classic musicals and great singing

Don't see it if Thought provoking theater

Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing

See it if For the divine Marin Mazzie, who adds thrilling emotional scope (musically, dramatically) to an exquisite production of a great musical.

Don't see it if there is no reason not to see this production

Absorbing, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to experience the absolute best musical theatre you are going to see in a long time!

Don't see it if You don't like well written, thoughtful, musical theatre.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Masterful, Must see, Great singing

See it if Incredible singing, visuals and cast Epic!

Don't see it if You don't like classic musicals

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great singing

See it if You love Rodgers and Hammerstein and want to see one of their greatest works done expertly and adeptly for a modern audience.

Don't see it if You're misogynistic and close-minded. This show is about acceptance, open-mindedness and approaching difference with kindness & intelligence

Entertaining, Enchanting, Epic, Romantic, Great singing

See it if You love a classic musical. So great!

Don't see it if If you don't enjoy a classic musical.

Cast & Creatives (61)