The Broadway-bound revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song will open at the Virginia Theatre on Oct. 17, with previews beginning Sept. 23. Though the opening dates have been whispered throughout the theatre community for weeks, this is the first official confirmation of the information.
This version of the celebrated musical, which features a new book from playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Golden Child), debuted this past fall at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. The venture is being produced by Benjamin Mordecai, Michael Jenkins, Waxman Williams Entertainment and Center Theatre Group, Gordon Davidson, Artistic Director.
Salonga appeared in the critically praised L.A. run and recently starred in a production of Proof in her native Philippines. Robert Longbottom, who directed and choreographed the Broadway musical Side Show as well as the recent benefit concert of Anything Goes, will helm the Broadway production as he did at the Mark Taper Forum.
Flower Drum Song is the story of Asians living in San Francisco's world-famous Chinatown, as some of the new Americans attempt to assimilate amid prejudice from the anglo and Chinese worlds. Linda Low, the nightclub singer, is committed to the club's owner Sammy Fong, but her eyes wander to handsome Wang Ta, when Fong won't marry her. Meanwhile, Communist Chinese picture bride Mei Li travels to the United States in a crate, avoiding immigration's quota on Chinese immigrants and hoping to find a husband before she's deported. Instead, she finds true love. In Hwang's version, the story is set in a Chinese opera company, where a cultural battle rages between that traditional art and a successful Western nightclub run by the opera owner's son. Flower Drum Song features the tunes "A Hundred Million Miracles," "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "I Am Going to Like It Here," "Chop Suey," "Grant Avenue" and "Love, Look Away." Two songs from the original production, "The Other Generation" and "Sunday" have been cut, while "The Next Time It Happens" from Pipe Dream was added. A film version of Flower Drum Song was made in 1961, featuring Nancy Kwan ("The World of Suzy Wong"), James Shigeta and Jack Soo ("Barney Miller").
Group sales for Flower Drum Song are currently available by calling (212) 398-8383.