Daniel Dae Kim, Ken Watanabe Lined Up for Broadway’s ‘King and I’

Daniel Dae Kim Hawaii Five-0 exit
Rob Latour/Variety/REX Shutterstock

Daniel Dae Kim will make his Broadway debut in “The King and I” later this spring, after return engagements from Ken Watanabe, who originated the titular king in the Lincoln Center Theater revival, and Jose Llana, who also had a stint in the part since the production opened last April.

Kim, well-known to TV fans from “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” has previously played the King of Siam in a 2008 arena-style production at London’s King Albert Hall in 2008. He’ll appear in the Broadway staging in an eight-week run May 3-June 26.

Prior to that, Watanabe (“Inception,” “The Last Samurai”), who was nominated for a Tony last year for his performance in “The King and I,” steps back in to the role March 1-April 17. Theater regular Llana (“Here Lies Love”) takes the crown April 19-May 1. (The king is currently played by actor Hoon Lee, who departs Feb. 28.)

“The King and I” marks the latest successful revival of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical by Lincoln Center Theater, following the two-and-half-year run of the company’s 2008 staging of “South Pacific.” “King and I” — which reteams the director and star of “South Pacific,” Bartlett Sher and Kelli O’Hara — won four Tony Awards last year, including the best musical revival trophy and an acting award for O’Hara.

Tickets for the production are currently on sale through June 26, although the show seemingly has the potential to extend beyond that, especially if the guest stints from Watanabe or Kim give the production’s already healthy sales a spike.

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