The King and I Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find the answers to questions about the classic musical The King and I.

Who wrote The King and I?

The famous duo Rodgers and Hammerstein – composer Richard Rodgers and dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II – worked together to create The King and I musical. Based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, The King and I was the fifth musical by the creative team.

What is The King and I about?

Set in Bangkok in the 1860s, The King and I follows the story of Anna, a widowed British schoolteacher hired by the King of Siam (now Thailand). She is charged with the task of tutoring his wives and offspring. At first, Anna finds the country and its culture very different from her own. She considers her employer strict, and her relationship with the King is fraught with tension and conflict. However, over time, they begin to form a bond built on mutual respect. Eventually, it becomes an attraction to which neither party can admit.

Is The King and I a true story?

The inspiration for The King and I stems from the novel ‘Anna and the King of Siam’ penned by Margaret Landon in 1944. The source material was based on Anna Leonowens’ fictionalised account of her six years at the Court of King Mongkut. During that time, Anna taught the King’s thirty-nine wives and eighty-two children.

When was The King and I made?

The King and I debuted on the Broadway stage on 29th March 1951. There was a great expectation that the musical would be a hit, which worried both Rodgers and Hammerstein. The film of the same name starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner was later released in 1956.

What songs are in The King and I?

The King and I features many well-known classics. Among them are ‘Getting to Know You’, ‘Shall We Dance?’, ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’, ‘We Kiss in a Shadow’ and ‘Something Wonderful’.

The King and I

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