Is Flower Drum Song a "New" Musical? Hwang Weighs In

News   Is Flower Drum Song a "New" Musical? Hwang Weighs In The new Broadway production of Flower Drum Song, opening at the Virginia Theatre Oct. 17, is being billed as a new musical, though it appeared with a different libretto and a slightly different score by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1958.

The new Broadway production of Flower Drum Song, opening at the Virginia Theatre Oct. 17, is being billed as a new musical, though it appeared with a different libretto and a slightly different score by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1958.

Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Crazy for You both took home the Tony Award, though their scores were reconceived recyclings of classic material. How does David Henry Hwang, the author of the new libretto of Flower Drum Song label the show?

"If you ask me," Hwang told Playbill On-Line in the Oct. 1 7 Brief Encounter interview, "I think the best word for it is a remake. It's most analogous to 'Ocean's Eleven' or David Cronenberg's 'The Fly,' where you take something that existed before and you build a new piece on it. Now does that make it a new musical? I don't know; that's up to producers and critics and other people to decide. It doesn't fit neatly into other traditional categories."

To view the entire interview, click Brief Encounter.

— By Kenneth Jones