Concert Version of Flower Drum Song Will Play La Jolla Playhouse; New Resident Troupe Named for Fall

News   Concert Version of Flower Drum Song Will Play La Jolla Playhouse; New Resident Troupe Named for Fall
San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater will conclude its 2010-11 residence at La Jolla Playhouse with a concert version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, May 12-June 12.

La Jolla Playhouse also announced on March 28 that its 2011-12 season resident theatre company will be Eveoke Dance Theatre. Their first work there will bow in September. This marks the fourth year of the Playhouse's landmark Resident Theatre Program and the first time a dance company has been chosen.

Spearheaded by Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley, the Resident Theatre Program "aims to encourage the artistic development of up-and-coming performing arts organizations, while advancing and contributing to the San Diego theatre scene as a whole." The program is also "designed to address San Diego's lack of available, affordable performance spaces by providing a temporary home each year to one of the many local troupes without a permanent venue."

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Meanwhile, Flower Drum Song: A Musical Revival in Concert will play May 12–June 12 in the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre. Based on the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (1958), popular movie (1961) and modern revival (2002) featuring a new book by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), Flower Drum Song follows Mei-Li, who flees Communist China in the 1950s and struggles to balance tradition and assimilation while looking for love in San Francisco. "The show also explores intergenerational conflict as Wang, the owner of an old-fashioned opera house, resists his son’s desire to turn it into a nightclub, in pursuit of the American Dream," according to production notes.

The cast includes David Armstrong, Rosalie Celestial, Mindy Chu, Rossana De Leon, Michael Demoret, Angela Evers, Ana Jacala, Kezia Liu, Tiffany Loui, Dante Macatantan, Patrick Mayuyu, Albert Park, Elise Kim Prosser, Melissa Rodriguez, Trini Tran, Ritchie Valenzuela and Rickey Calixto. The production team includes Peter James Cirino (director); Thomas Hodges (musical director); Chris Wollman (assistant director); Gina Ma (choreographer); Tom Kaye (stage manager); Dom Abbenante (scenic designer); Kevin Anthenill (sound designer); Lila Lace Flores (lighting designer); and Andy Lowe (La Jolla Playhouse Theatre-in-Residence Program Coordinator).

San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater ( "celebrates and gives voice to the Asian American experience."

It has contributed to cultural diversity and education in San Diego for more than 15 years, producing 35 plays including five world premieres. SDAART recently won the prestigious Pon Award bestowed by the National Association of Ethnic Studies for its "wonderful history and collection of theater works that present Asian American culture with bounty and beauty."

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