MANILA, Philippines – Theater actress Monique Wilson confirmed on Monday that she will be playing Anna Leonowens in the upcoming local production of “The King and I” later this year.
In an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com, Wilson, who is now based in London, said she will be taking a break from teaching to do the musical.
Wilson, who is in town for two weeks for a special performance of “The Vagina Monologues” on March 31 at the Music Museum, said she will return to the Philippines in July to start rehearsals for the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.
“The King and I” opens in September and runs until December at Resorts World Manila.
“They’ve allowed me to take a term off,” she said of her job as director at the East 15 Acting School of the University of Essex.
Wilson, who joined the original West End cast of “Miss Saigon” in 1989, joined the East 15 Acting School in 2008, where she handles the MA/MFA Acting course for international students.
She said for the past three-and-a-half years, the acting school took much of her time such that her trips to the Philippines have become more infrequent.
But since the program is going on its fourth year, she said she’s confident that she can take a break and return to theater.
“I think I can do it now,” she said.
As Anna in “The King and I,” Wilson will get to sing the musical’s popular songs such as “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance” and “I Whistle A Happy Tune.”
Valdez as the King?
Resorts World Manila has yet to announce who will be playing the plum role of the King, although theater observers believe Leo Valdez, another “Miss Saigon” alumnus, is a cinch for the role.
ABS-CBNnews.com asked Valdez about “The King and I” but he was mum about it.
Valdez, however, said he is interested to reprise his role of Ravena in the upcoming revival of Ballet Philippines’ “Rama Hari.”
Valdez was part of the original production along with Basil Valdez and Kuh Ledesma.
“That really started my career in musical theater,” Leo Valdez said.