Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flower Drum Song
Flower Drum Song is a Broadway musical with a score by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and a book by Hammerstein and Joseph Fields , based on the novel by C.Y. Lee . The original production opened in 1958 and starred Miyoshi Umeki, Pat Suzuki , Juanita Hall , Larry Blyden, Ed Kenney , and Arabella Hong ; it ran for 600 performances at the St. James Theatre .
The plot concerns a young Chinese girl, Mei Li, who is brought to the USA to enter into an arranged marriage. Her intended, who is already involved with a showgirl, Linda Low, only gradually comes to appreciate Mei Li's qualities.
In 1961 the musical was made into a movie, starring Nancy Kwan as Linda Low, James Shigeta, Benson Fong, Jack Soo , and original Broadway cast members Umeki and Hall. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Best Cinematography, Color, Best Costume Design, Color, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound.
In 2002, a revival of the show opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. With an entirely new book by David Henry Hwang, and a number of changes in the music (including new lyrics for a couple of songs, one number cut, and another cut number reinserted), the production was directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom and starred Lea Salonga. The production ran for 169 performances, the shortest ever run for any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in New York City. In defending his decision to rewrite the original book, Hwang stated, "I tried to write the book that Oscar Hammerstein would have written if he were Asian-American."
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