The musical, which marks the return to Broadway of Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, was the first to cancel its Friday evening (March 7) performance, prior to the announcement that both Actors’ Equity and Local One (the stagehands union) had joined the strike begun by the Broadway musicians. That announcement closed all Broadway musicals for the weekend, with the exception of Cabaret.
There was question whether Flower Drum Song, which had already announced a closing date of March 16, would reopen even if the strike was settled. However, Jed Bernstein, President of the League of American Theatres and Producers, announced at a press conference this morning that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical would indeed resume performances — along with 17 other Broadway musicals — tonight.
The musical will end its run as previously announced, Sunday, March 16.
Flower Drum Song stars Lea Salonga, who won her Best Actress in a Musical Tony for her work as Kim in Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Miss Saigon. In Flower Drum Song Salonga portrays Mei-Li, a Chinese immigrant who arrives in San Francisco, having been shipped in a crate from her homeland in China. The remainder of the cast includes Randall Duk Kim (Master Wang), Jodi Long (Madame Liang), Sandra Allen (Linda Low), Alvin Ing (Chin), Allen Liu (Harvard), Hoon Lee (Chao) and Ma-Anne Dionisio (Little Girl). The ensemble comprises Susan Ancheta, Raul Aranas, Rich Ceraulo, Eric Chan, Marcus Choi, Emily Hsu, Telly Leung, J. Elaine Marcos, Daniel May, Marc Oka, Lainie Sakakura, Yuka Takara, Robert Tatad, Kim Varhola and Ericka Yang. Robert Longbottom, who helmed Broadway's Side Show, directs and choreographs, with music adaptation and direction by David Chase. The creative team also includes Robin Wagner (sets), Gregg Barnes (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting), ACME Sound Partners (sound), Don Sebesky (orchestrations), Seymour Red Press (musical coordinator), David Brian Brown (hair), Perry Cline (production stage manager), Tom Kosis (associate director), Darlene Wilson (associate choreographer) and Jamie H. J. Guan (Chinese Opera consultant).
Flower Drum Song plays the Virginia Theatre, which is located at 245 West 52nd Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The musical plays Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets, priced between $65 and $95, are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. For more information, go to www.flowerdrumsong.com.