The King and I
The King and I plates series is based on the 1956 film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. It is based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon and derives from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, who became governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. The story deals with the experiences of the British schoolteacher, who is hired as part of the King's drive to modernize his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the play, as well as by a love that neither is able to express. The musical premiered on March 29, 1951 at Broadway's St. James Theatre.
In 1950, theatrical attorney Fanny Holtzmann was looking for a part for her client, veteran leading lady Gertrude Lawrence. Holtzmann realized that Landon's book would be an ideal vehicle and contacted Rodgers and Hammerstein, who were initially reluctant, but who agreed to write the musical. The pair initially sought Rex Harrison to play the supporting part of the King—he had played the role in the 1946 movie made from Landon's book—but Harrison was unavailable. They settled on Russian-American actor Yul Brynner.
The musical was an immediate hit, winning Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actress (for Lawrence) and Best Featured Actor (for Brynner). Lawrence died unexpectedly of cancer a year and a half after the opening, and the role of Anna was played by other actresses during the remainder of the Broadway run of over three years (1,246 performances). A national tour and a hit London run followed, together with a 1956 film featuring Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr and Rita Moreno.
Won 5 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations