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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1952 - Tony Awards - The King and I
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1952!
In 1952, The King and I captured the Tony Award for Best Musical. Opening on March 29, 1951, the show would run an amazing 1,246 performances at the St. James Theatre. Later, made into a movie of the same name and starring Yul Brynner in his usual role as The King, the show would once again win awards including the Best Actor Oscar. Revived several times, with Yul Brynner playing the starring role, the show would actually run for more performances to total an astounding 4,600, including movies, stage, and, later, television versions. Yul Brynner spent 34 years of his life as The King. He would receive a special Tony Award for his lifetime achievement in 1985, the last year of his life.
The King and I - original cast album
The Story:

    The musical takes place in Bangkok at the Royal Palace in 1862. A young English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son, have been summoned to the Palace by the King to serve as a tutor to his many wives and children. The King, considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, seeks Anna's assistance in changing his image, although not his ways. Throughout the play, an understanding of both cultures comes to Anna and The King, eventually turning this battle of wills into a unique love story.

The Music and Lyrics:

    Music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

The Producers:

    Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

The Directors:

    John van Druten

The Choreographers:

    Jerome Robbins

The Opening:

    March 29, 1951, at the St. James Theatre

The Cast:

  • Gertrude Lawrence
  • Yul Brynner
  • Dorothy Sarnoff
  • Doretta Morrow
  • Larry Douglas
  • Johnny Stewart
  • Sandy Kennedy
  • Lee Becker Theodore
  • Gemze de Lappe
  • Yuriko
  • Baayork Lee

The Songs:

  • I Whistle a Happy Tune
  • My Lord and Master
  • Hello, Young Lovers
  • March of the Siamese Children
  • A Puzzlement
  • Getting to Know You
  • We Kiss in a Shadow
  • Shall I tell You What I Think of You?
  • Something Wonderful
  • I Have Dreamed
  • Shall We Dance

The Other Awards:

  • Lifetime achievement award to Yul Brynner by the Tonys for his role as The King in more than 4,600 performances over 34 years
  • Best Actor Oscar to Yul Brynner for his movie portrayal of The King
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