Flower Drum Song, the anticipated revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic with a reworked book by David Henry Hwang, canceled its production at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre due to lack of funding, according to the theatre's artistic director-producer Gordon Davidson.
In a released statement, Davidson cited the financial maginitude of creating a completely new show versus the tours the theatre regularly handles, which come with their own sets, costumes and orchestrations. He also found the group running out of time for bringing all the musical's elements together.
"Since this was a brand new production, the lead time necessary to properly design and build the scenery, costumes, create new orchestrations as well as other production elements, ran out. With that in mind, all parties mutually agreed to cancel the musical at this time," he said.
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, picture bride Mei Li travels to the United States in a crate to avoid immigration's quota on Chinese immigrants, hoping to find a husband before she's deported. Flower Drum Song features the tunes "A Hundred Million Miracles," "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "I Am Going to Like It Here," "Chop Suey," "Grand Avenue" "Love, Look Away" and "The Other Generation." A film version was made in 1961, featuring Nancy Kwan ("The World of Suzy Wong"), James Shigeta and Jack Soo ("Barney Miller").
The Ahmanson revival would have been the musical's first major production since it debuted on Broadway in 1958. Flower Drum Song was scheduled to run April 15 to June 10. A replacement production has not been announced.