Critic Karen Wada, in her afterword to the published script, blamed "the sluggish economy, post-September 11 jitters, the New York Times' mixed review, and unusually bitter winter weather" for the unexpectedly short run. Synopsis Linda announces that she is leaving for Los Angeles, as Wang's "Sammy Fong" act has effectively taken over the show, and she has received a better offer.  The show received six Tony Award nominations, but won only one Tony (Best Conductor and Musical Director, for Salvatore Dell'Isola). Ta follows her and tells her he wants to tell her a story. degree. Benson Fong played the role of Wang Chi-Yang in Flower Drum Song. , Rodgers and Hammerstein, despite extraordinary early successes, such as Oklahoma!, Carousel and South Pacific, had suffered back-to-back Broadway flops in the mid-1950s with Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream.  They added a scene in which Mei Li listens apprehensively to a radio broadcast warning about the dangers to the United States caused by Asian immigration. Flower Drum Song was Nancy Kwan’s second film. Miyoshi Umeki is the only Asian actress to win an Academy Award in the acting category till date. She informs him that she met his eldest son the previous evening. Lee initially had no success selling his novel, but his agent submitted it to the publishing house of Farrar, Straus and Cudahy. " Brantley disagreed, writing, "because the show's satiric point of view is so muddled, there's no verve in such numbers, no joy in the performing of them.". arrive to meet her fiancé; nightclub owner Sammy Fong (Jack Soo). Linda's friend, seamstress Helen Chao, who has been unable to find a man despite the shortage of eligible women in Chinatown, gets Ta drunk and seduces him. " Only the character names, the San Francisco Chinatown setting and some of the relationships were retained, but the pair sought to be faithful to the spirit of both Lee's novel and the musical's original concept of old-world and older generation values struggling with new-world temptations and the desires of the younger generation. (Chin Yang) Lee", "Hwang and Kwan to Attend Final Benefit Performance of, "Photo Call: Flower Drum Song in San Jose", "Rodgers and Hammerstein score again with, "Original Broadway Cast – Flower Drum Song", I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, The Sound of Music: Music from the NBC Television Event, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flower_Drum_Song&oldid=983957420, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A Hundred Million Miracles – Mei Li, Dr. Li, Wang, Madam Liang and Liu Ma, Chop Suey – Madam Liang, Wang and Ensemble, Gliding Through My Memories – Frankie and Girls, The Other Generation – Madam Liang and Wang, The Other Generation (Reprise) – Wang San and Children, This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 08:24. It was adapted for a 1961 musical film. Helen Chao, an excellent seamstress, brings the graduation gown she has made for Ta and wants to present it to him as a gift (she is obviously in love with Ta, but he doesn't seem to think of her romantically). Despite his irritation at Ta, Wang allows him to marry Mei-li at the club (which now features Ta's Chinese opera one day a week), as the company celebrates how Chinese and American cultures have converged to create this happy moment (Finale: "A Hundred Million Miracles").  Flower Drum Song ran for 600 performances, a longer run than any other musical from the 1958–1959 season – it lasted longer than any of the shows with which it had competed for Asian performers. VIDEO: Watch a PIPPIN Reunion on Stars in the House.  UPI's drama critic, Jack Gaver, scored it as "well north of Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream" but "well south" of Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific and even the team's first flop, Allegro. In honor of the occasion, she sings "Chop Suey," in which she compares living in the U.S. to the Chinese dish invented by Americans. She immediately and enthusiastically accepts.  In addition, producers found the show to be thinly plotted, and the songs not integrated as organically with the characters and story, as compared with Rodgers and Hammerstein's most popular musicals. When Linda sees the announcement she is decidedly upset. It premiered on Broadway in 1958 and was then performed in the West End and on tour. , Following the closure of the Broadway production, a U.S. national tour began on May 10, 1960 in Detroit. That summer, the San Diego Civic Light Opera filled the 4,324-seat Balboa Park Bowl to overflowing for a highly successful run of the musical. After farcical trifles, a torn Wang Ta eventually realizes it is Mei Li who he loves after all, and they happily marry. Dick and Oscar and Joe mined C. Y. Lee's novel for the generational conflict and for the three women who substantiated Ta's honorable search for love. A short time later, Mei Li and her father leave Master Wang's house to pursue the marriage contract between Mei Li and Sammy Fong. Many lines of dialogue were cut, and producer Fred Van Patten stated that "[w]hat we've done is cut things in the show that Asians said to make white people laugh. The story is based on a Chinese immigrant, played by Miyoshi Umeki, who is arranged to marry a nightclub owner, played by Jack Soo.  Kelly and the show's choreographer, Carol Haney, journeyed to cities across the country to seek out talent. Prologue: Ed Kenney. , Midway through the run, Larry Blyden left the show and was replaced in the role of Sammy Fong by Jack Soo, with Larry Leung assuming the role of Frankie Wing. Instead, they hired actor and dancer Gene Kelly, who had never directed on stage before.
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