Flower Drum Song, with Foronda, Coughlin and Montalban, Begins San Jose Run Oct. 28

News   Flower Drum Song, with Foronda, Coughlin and Montalban, Begins San Jose Run Oct. 28
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, starring Joseph Anthony Foronda, Michelle Liu Coughlin and Paolo Montalban, begins performances at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose Oct. 28.
Paolo Montalban
Paolo Montalban

Joseph Anthony Foronda (Making Tracks, Miss Saigon) stars as nightclub owner Wang with Michelle Liu Coughlin (The King and I, A New Brain) as Mei-Li and Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures) as Ta in the production, which features direction by Gabriel Barre (Cinderella, The Wild Party), choreography by Vince Pesce and musical direction by William Liberatore.

The American Musical Theatre of San Jose production of Flower Drum Song features the revised book penned by Tony winner David Henry Hwang for the 2002 revival of the San Francisco-set work. Flower Drum Song runs through Nov. 9.

The cast also features Emily Hsu (Spamalot) as show girl Linda Low, Erin Quill (Avenue Q) as Madame Rita Liang, and Flower Drum Song revival veteran Alvin Ing re-creating the role of Chin.

Completing the cast are Jenn Aedo, Kikau Alvaro, Dane Paul Andres, Joven Calloway, Brian Conway, Albert Guerzon, Jared Lee, Stephanie Lo, Sumie Maeda, Jonelle Margallo, Mario Martinez, Don Masuda, Theresa Nguyen, Donna Rapa-Olsen, Sung Min Park, Nicole Tung, Erwin Urbi and Rod Voltaire-Edora.

The new production of the 1950's musical takes a fresh look at the C.Y. Lee novel on which it is based, and concerns "Mei-Li, who arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown after fleeing communist China. The naïve young refugee is befriended by theater owner Wang, who is struggling to keep traditional Chinese Opera alive despite his son Ta's determination to turn the family's theatre into a rowdy nightclub," according to AMTSJ press notes. Tony Award winners Robin Wagner and Gregg Barnes, who designed the 2002 Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song, lend their designs for scenery and costumes, respectively. The design team also includes Karen Spahn (lighting design), Hage van Dijk (sound design) and Sharon Ridge (hair and make-up design).

Featuring a score by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, the original Broadway production of Flower Drum Song opened under the direction of Gene Kelly at the St. James Theatre in 1958. The classic score includes "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "You Are Beautiful," "A Hundred Million Miracles," "Grant Avenue," "Don't Marry Me" and "Love, Look Away."

Tickets are available by calling (888) 455-SHOW (7469) or by visiting www.amtsj.org.

The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts is located at 255 Almaden Blvd. in San Jose, CA.

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