One of the most unique love stories in musical theater, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I is a moving, radiant story of East meets West. It is the early 1860s when newly widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, set sail from their native England for Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand). Anna, still grieving, has set her sights on a new adventure and taken a position as the schoolteacher for the royal offspring of the King of Siam. The King is determined to usher Siam into the modern world, and he thinks Western education can be a part of that – yet, Anna is horrified at first by many of the traditions that he holds dear. Anna and the King teach each other about understanding, respect, and love that can transcend the greatest of differences.
This 1952 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, a classic by Rodgers and Hammerstein, is based on “Anna and the King of Siam,” a 1944 novel by Margaret Landon.