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The King and I

Members say: Enchanting, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting
31 reviews
2071 reviews

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


Reviews (2102)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

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

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


"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

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


"”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 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

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

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 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

AM New York

"'The King and I' holds up incredibly well as a piece of drama. The songs are beautiful, the characters are complex and its themes of democratization, cultural miscommunication and gender inequality are timely. Sher's production is generally impressive and satisfying." 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

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

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


"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


"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

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


"Their sparring match is at the true heart of any production of this show, and it’s a little bit of a rocky fight for a while…But somewhere in the second act, as their characters’ hearts begin to melt for each other – and so do ours - these performers simply sail into the theatrical stratosphere…If you’re not sniffling a little at the final curtain, you may need a heart transplant yourself!" Full Review

The Associated Press

"'The King and I' is getting an elegant, thoughtful revival courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater. There's an opulent, almost operatic feel to this production, and the music and dancing are richly presented...the production feels fresh and yet familiar, too." 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

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

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 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

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

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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love somethin AMAZING

Don't see it if SEE IT

Epic, Dated, Entertaining, Great staging, Talented cast

See it if You've enjoyed other productions of this show. You want to see cool sets and beautiful costumes along with a good cast in a good theater.

Don't see it if You think the ideas of the show are too old fashioned. You get sleepy without a lot of wild action. You dislike the film.


See it if You like the movie or the songs or just want to see a fun light musical.

Don't see it if you want something deep and complex.

Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if You know the score and want to see a beautiful presentation of a lovely, old fashioned, beautifully staged musical.

Don't see it if You can't control yourself and k ow you will sing along, loudly!

Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Great show. Fun

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

Enchanting, Epic, Exquisite, Dated, Great staging

See it if you enjoy lush, opulent productions, with incredible talent (Kelli O'Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles were standouts)

Don't see it if colonialism and overly cute children make you uneasy

Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want a delightful revival of a lovely show.

Don't see it if It feels a tad dated.

Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You've always wanted to see "Shall We Dance" on stage. Beautiful and enchanting. Kelli O'Hara definitely earned her Tony in this role.

Don't see it if You don't like Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

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, Exquisite, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you love gorgeous, old-style, still relevant and fresh musicals. Also incredible performances by the whole cast and impressive stagecraft.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy musically lush shows or musicals in general. Also, if you prefer a more modern sound.

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Romantic, Great staging

See it if you want to see R&H feel as relevant as ever. Beautifully opulent staging and fantastic performances.

Don't see it if you want something edgy and unconventional. This is traditional musical theater all the way.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if You like cute kids, luscious staging and a great interpretation of a somewhat problematic white savior narrative

Don't see it if You can't get past the Orientalism- the production is terrific but the problem is still there - lots of exoticizing the Other.

Enchanting, Exquisite, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, appreciate endings that can make you cry, you like the lead actors, and enjoy engaging staging.

Don't see it if beautiful costumes and staging will not be able to offset, for you, the few moments of week singing; you expect a new take on this Classic.

Insipid, Overrated, Slow, Dated, Great singing

See it if You're satisfied with just a bit of spectacle and some really good singing. Very little humor. Not much dancing. Crap story.

Don't see it if You expect a Broadway musical to be uplifting or at least highly entertaining. First act was long and pretty dull. Second act a bit better.

Epic, Masterful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to hear beautiful orchestration, see stunning sets, and enjoy a wonderful musical.

Don't see it if you are offended easily by Asian stereotypes.

Epic, Masterful, Romantic, Slow, Great singing

See it if you're a big R&H fan, or love classic musicals. This is classic all around. Beautiful score, lavish sets and costumes, sweet, simple story.

Don't see it if you like short shows, or are looking for something original. This is a solid update, but doesn't really revolutionize the original material.

Enchanting, Masterful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love classic musical theatre. And Kelli O'Hara. And a full orchestra. But especially Kelli O'Hara. And kids. And Kelli O'Hara.

Don't see it if My one complaint is that the King's accent was so thick at times, I couldn't understand what he was saying. Other than that, great show!

Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You did not see the movie (which is better). It does have great Rodgers and Hammerstein songs.

Don't see it if You loved Hamilton, Once or even The Total Bent. It's old-school. Lovely music but old-school

Beautiful, Romantic, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if like Rogers and Hammerstein, beautifully staged production, parts take your breath away

Don't see it if aren't into golden age of broadway

Delightful, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Love Marin Mazzie and the show is gorgeous

Don't see it if No reason Not To See this one

Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love incredible staging and a gorgeous portrayal of history, a clash of cultures. This is a quintessentially Broadway show.

Don't see it if If you don't like classical, Broadway musicals.

Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see epic staging (WOW!), you love the story line, you love the score.

Don't see it if You want something particularly life-affirming or clever/innovative, you don't like the story line.

Delightful, Enchanting, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you would like to see a beautifuly staged, sung, and acted revival one of the greatest classic musicals of all time

Don't see it if you have bad taste

Enchanting, Epic, Exquisite, Romantic, Great staging

See it if Go now!!

Don't see it if It's beautiful and you need to go now.

Delightful, Epic, Exquisite, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if You like The King and I this is the best production I've ever seen.

Don't see it if You don't like a beautiful old style musical full of gorgeous costumes, dance and staging.