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What are Kelli O'Hara's most famous Broadway roles?

Kelli O'Hara sitting in the chairs of the house

For one night only, Tony Award-winning singer and actress Kelli O’Hara will join the Des Moines Symphony for an intimate program of American Songbook classics and modern Broadway favorites.

But before the New York Times’ “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen” takes the Des Moines Civic Center stage, we wanted to revisit some of our favorite Kelli O’Hara Broadway roles.

The King and I

O’Hara received not only the Tony-Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in The King and I, but she also received Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics and Olivier Nominations as well. The musical tells of the story of Welsh schoolteacher Anna Leonowens (played by O’Hara) as she travels from England to Siam to serve as governess to the King’s children. This Rodger and Hammerstein musical explores the conflict between the King and Anna and the lessons they learn from each other. This Tony-Award winning Best Revival of a Musical opened on April 16, 2015, and ran until June 16, 2016. O’Hara’s last performance as Anna was on April 17, 2016.


Nice Work If You Can Get It

O’Hara (Billie Bendix) starred opposite of Matthew Broderick (Jimmy Winter) in 2012’s Nice Work If You Can Get It. The musical is set in the 1920s, at the height of prohibition. On the weekend of Jimmy’s wedding, he meets bootlegger Billie Bendix. Billie and her gang hide cases of alcohol in the basement of Jimmy’s mansion before his fiancé and prohibitionist family show up for the wedding. O’Hara received her fourth Tony nomination for the role.


The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County debuted on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on February 20, 2014. O’Hara received her fifth Tony nomination for her role as Francesca Johnson. The musical is based on Robert James Waller’s 1992 novel of the same name. The musical tells the story of Francesca, an Italian war bride living in Madison County, Iowa in 1965. She anticipated a relaxing weekend while her family was away until Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer, pulls into her driveway.


Kiss Me, Kate

Kiss Me, Kate’s third Broadway revival starred O’Hara as Lilli Vanessi/Kate in 2019. O’Hara garnered her seventh Tony nomination for the revival. The production followed a sold-out benefit concert reading of the musical in 2016. Kiss Me, Kate follows two divorced performers as they opposite each other in a musical version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. The show had 125 performances between February 14, 2019, and June 30, 2019.



Tickets are still available for this one night only performance on July 22.

Purchase tickets here.

More information here.

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