The King & I comes to the Hobby Center

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Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations LLC announce that Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) and Jose Llana (King of Siam) will lead the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE KING AND I that will play Houston's Hobby Center for the Performing Arts March 14-19, 2017.  In the tour, Joan Almedilla will play Lady Thiang with Brian Rivera as Kralahome, Manna Nichols as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha, Anthony Chan as Prince Chulalongkorn, Graham Montgomery as Louis Leonowens and Baylen Thomas as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey.

Director Bartlett Sher had this to say about the leads in THE KING AND I: "Jose was so superb on Broadway in The King and I that I begged him to join us on the tour and l feel we are incredibly lucky to have him.  He brings such joy and virility and strength to the King. And he is one of Broadway's great talents. 

"Laura Michelle has one of the best voices on Broadway matched with an extraordinary heart. Her work on Finding Neverland and Mary Poppins distinguished both of those shows with her natural grace and joy. She will be an exquisite Anna Leonowens."

The ensemble includes Heather Botts, LaMae Caparas, Andrew Cheng, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Daniel J. Edwards, Nicole Ferguson, Marie Gutierrez, Mindy Lai, Darren Lee, Q Lim, Stephanie Lo, Michael Lomeka, Nobutaka Mochimaru, Rommel Pierre O'Choa, Yuki Ozeki, Marcus Shane, Sam Simahk, Michiko Takemasa, Jeoffrey Watson and Kelli Youngman, with Kayla Amistad, Jaden Amistad, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Rylie Sickles, Rhyees Stump, Noah Toledo and CJ Uy as the Royal Children.

THE KING AND I, directed by Tony Award® winner Bartlett Sher, won four 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical.  Hailed as "first-rate, sumptuous" (The New York Times) and "too beautiful to miss" (New York Magazine), the production played 538 performances on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. THE KING AND I has music direction by Ted Sperling, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber (Tony Award® winner for THE KING AND I), lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. THE KING AND I features choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein's finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as "Getting To Know You," "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," "I Have Dreamed" and "Something Wonderful." Set in 1860's Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

For more information including the 2016–17 touring schedule, please visit, or on Facebook and Twitter

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THE KING AND I will play in Houston at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts March 14-19, 2017.  The performance schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017  7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 16, 2017  7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 17, 2017  8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, 2017  2:00PM & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 19, 2017  2:00PM & 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for THE KING AND I begin at $35 and are available by phone (800) 982-2787; online or; the Hobby Center Box Office (800 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002); and all Ticketmaster outlets. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, please call 888-451-5986 or send an e-mail to

Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit

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LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (Anna Leonowens) is an Olivier Award winning actress for her star-making performance as the title role in the London production of Disney's Mary Poppins. Kelly just recently completed a year and a half run playing Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland, starring opposite Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer after originating the role at the American Repertory Theater (2015 Elliott Award Nominee).  Her other Broadway credits include reprising her role in Mary Poppins and the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof.  West End credits include: My Fair Lady (Eliza), Speed-the-Plow (Karen), Lord of the Rings: The Musical (Galadriel), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Whistle Down the Wind (Swallow), Peter Pan (Wendy), Les Misérables (Eponine), Mamma Mia! (Sophie).  Regional: The King and I (Anna) and South Pacific (Nellie).  Film: Sweeney Todd (Lucy/Beggar Woman; dir. Tim Burton) and Goddess (2012 Cannes Film Festival) Album: The Storm Inside (2006). Recipient: Awarded Voice of Musical Theatre. Numerous radio, TV, concert appearances including Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Opera House, Millennium Stadium, Buckingham Palace and Performed for President Obama for the 4th of July celebrations.

JOSE LLANA (King of Siam) returns to the role of "The King of Siam" after two starring engagements in the Tony-winning Lincoln Center revival of The King and I. He made his American Songbook debut in the spring of 2015, which led to the release of his second solo CD, Altitude in the spring of 2016. He earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal as Marcosin David Byrne & Fat Boy Slim's Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (dir. Alex Timbers) and most recently played Duke Orsinofor The Public Theater's Public Works musical adaptation of Twelfth Night (dir. Kwame Kwei-Armah) at The Delacorte. Broadway credits include Chip Tolentinoin William Finn's The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award, dir. James Lapine), El Gatoin Wonderland, Wang Tain David Henry Hwang's adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, Angel in RENT (dir. Michael Greif),Jessie-Leein Streetcorner Symphony and his debut as Lun Tha in the 1996 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I opposite Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. Off-Broadway appearances include Adam in Falling for Eve (York), Gabey in On the Town (dir. George C. Wolfe, Delacorte) and Adam Guettel's Saturn Returns (dir. Tina Landau, Public Theater). Regional appearances include DistanceRunnerin Poster Boy (Williamstown Theater Festival), Bill Sikesin Oliver! (Paper Mill), Guillaume in Cameron Mackintosh's Martin Guerre (Guthrie Theater),Tin Manin Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater, dir. Tina Landau, Jefferson Nomination - Best Supporting Actor) and Candidein Candide (Prince Theater, Barrymore Nomination - Best Actor). TV/Film appearances include HBO's "Sex and the City" opposite Margaret Cho and Hitch with Will Smith. Appearing on numerous cast albums, Jose is also a best-selling recording artist on the VIVA Philippines label.  Training from Manhattan School of Music.  Jose is a constant advocate for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and serves on the Musical Theater Council for The Public Theater.

Bartlett Sher (Director). LCT: Golden Boy (Tony nomination), Blood and Gifts, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (also London production), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Tony nom.), Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards; also London and Australia), Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza (Tony noms.). Recent New York: Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway), The Bridges of Madison County (Schoenfeld), Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons), Waste (Best Play Obie Award), Cymbeline (Callaway Award, also at Royal Shakespeare Company), Don Juan, Pericles (TFANA, BAM). Artistic director of Seattle's Intiman Theater (2000-2009). Previously company director for the Guthrie Theater and associate artistic director at Hartford Stage. Opera: Faust (Baden Baden), Two Boys (ENO, Metropolitan Opera), Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Le Comte Ory, L'Elisir d'Amore (Metropolitan Opera), Romeo et Juliette (Salzburg, Milan, Chicago), Mourning Becomes Electra (Seattle Opera, New York City Opera). Upcoming productions include Otello (Metropolitan Opera), Adam Guettel's new musical Millions.

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The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is operated by the Hobby Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to expand Houston's reputation as a world-class cultural center by providing a premier performing arts facility, fostering accessibility to the performing arts and promoting arts education, with an emphasis on musical theater. The complex houses two performance chambers, an award-winning restaurant, and an 800 car capacity on- premise parking garage. Please visit

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 41 markets with over 270,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding NeverlandMillion Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The Producers. is the premier theaterwebsite for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information, please visit and