Dean John-Wilson (who starred in the title role of Disney’s original West End production of Aladdin) and Na-Young Jeon (Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End and Gigi in Miss Saigon on world tour) join the West End cast of The King & I as the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim.
They will join Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King and Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s multi-award winning musical transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium on 21 June (press night is 3 July).
The King & I also today announces that the London Palladium engagement will extend for a final three weeks until Saturday 29 September. This is the very last opportunity West End audiences will have to see the Broadway stars reprise their original roles on the London stage, as Kelli O’Hara will return to Broadway to star in Kiss Me, Kate and Ken Watanabe has filming commitments.
Five extra matinees on Thursdays (30 August, 6, 13, 20 and 27 September) have been added to the London Palladium performance schedule. This follows continued unprecedented demand for tickets, with early performances already sold out. Much like the response to its acclaimed 16-month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and sold out USA tour.
Dean John-Wilson played the title role in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre and was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008. His other theatre credits include: Miss Atomic Bomb and Songs For a New World at the St James’ Theatre, Aquino in Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre and Sister Act: The Musical UK tour.
Netherlands-born Na-Young Jeon played Gigi in the international tour of Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Misérables in South Korea and in the West End. Other theatre work includes Esmerelda in Notre Dame de Paris in South Korea and Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate in Amsterdam.
With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, the show boasts a score featuring such beloved classics as ‘Getting To Know You’, ‘Hello Young Lovers’, ‘Shall We Dance’, ‘I Have Dreamed’ and ‘Something Wonderful’.