Broadway Stars Honor 'Love Of All Kinds' With Inclusive Take On Classic Song

Jelani Alladin and Matt Doyle reimagine “We Kiss in a Shadow” from "The King and I" for those unable to "express who they are."

Jelani Alladin and Matt Doyle say they hope their modern take on “We Kiss in a Shadow” from the musical “The King and I” is a poignant reminder of the song’s inclusive message. 

The actors released a stirring video for their rock-infused version of the song Monday as part of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization’s “R&H Goes Pop!” YouTube series. 

When “The King and I” debuted on Broadway in 1951, “We Kiss in a Shadow” was performed by the characters Tuptim and Lun Tha, who are forced to hide their relationship from the King of Siam. Alladin and Doyle believe the song still resonates in an era when some couples ― such as those who identify as LGBTQ or are in mixed-race relationships ― continue to struggle for acceptance.

“Unfortunately, we are living in a world, in a space, that doesn’t value love of all kinds,” Alladin, who originated the role of Kristoff in the Broadway adaptation of the Disney hit, “Frozen,” said in a press release. “This song is our way of understanding how we can begin to accept love of all kinds, to embrace the ugliness, the beautifulness of all of it and understand that we are all human.”

Known for roles in the musicals “Spring Awakening” and “The Book of Mormon” as well as his work as a singer-songwriter, Doyle said he was taken with “how universal these words are.” 

“Anyone who has felt like they weren’t able to express who they are or how they love can listen to this song and find a connection,” he said.  

The “R&H Goes Pop!” series launched in January with Tony-nominated “Newsies” star Jeremy Jordan performing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from 1943’s “Oklahoma!” reimagined as a poignant ballad. Future guests in the series include Gavin Creel, Katrina Lenk and Anthony Rapp.