The King and Miss Lansbury

Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, we’re celebrating the 70th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I, which premiered on March 29, 1951 with the legendary Gertrude Lawrence and the soon-to-be-iconic Yul Brynner, who would go on to recreate his star-making role as the King for the 1956 film adaptation and in many productions thereafter, including the 1977 Broadway revival that also starred Constance Towers and is the subject of this entry. (They have a glorious cast album — it’s my “go-to” for this score!)

However, the audio I’m offering — for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest — actually features neither of those two, for it was taken in April 1978, during the stars’ vacations, when in stepped Michael Kermoyan as the King and Angela Lansbury as an above-the-title Anna. You can currently hear excerpts on YouTube, but now is your chance to grab the entire audio, which is nearly complete and will give you a full understanding of why the New York Times favorably cited Lansbury’s “impetuous and headstrong” take on the role and advocated for pairing her with Brynner. (Incidentally, this good press didn’t translate to the box office; in 1978, The King And I was too associated with Brynner to be a “must-see” for audiences without him.) Here’s a clip — Lansbury’s “Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?”

 

 

Come back next month for another musical rarity! And stay tuned tomorrow for more Good Times! 

24 thoughts on “The King and Miss Lansbury

  1. I’ve seen a few productions of The King and I, the most recent with Kelli O’Hara on Broadway. I would love to have the recording with Angela Lansbury!

  2. “Name Must Never Be Above Name of King’s!” LOL! I’ve seen photos of Miss Anglela in this and always wished they had recorded it. I guess somebody did! Did I ever tell you I played Louis when I was 17? I was half a foot taller than Anna! It was also 50 years ago! Thank you for all you do, Jackson!

  3. My Dad took me on my first trip to New York City in 1977, and one of the 4 shows we saw was Yul Brynner and Constance Towers in “The King and I”. No too long ago, I relistened to that cast album for the first time in a long while, and it is, indeed, glorious, as was that particular production. I’d love to hear the Angela Lansbury version audio, Jackson, and thanks as always!

  4. Hi Jackson
    Love to hear Angela Landsbury’s interpretation of Anna in “King and I”. She is so versatile. Enjoy her performances in the. film, stage and TV and her singing.
    Thanks.

    • Hi, Richard! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address and I will send a link your way!

  5. Hey!! Your blog looks amazing, and I’ve subscribed.

    Could I get a copy of the King And I recording you’re talking about?

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