Leung, Long, Ceraulo Celebrate Flower Drum Song's 50th Anniversary Feb. 2

News   Leung, Long, Ceraulo Celebrate Flower Drum Song's 50th Anniversary Feb. 2
An evening celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song will be held Feb. 2 at the David Henry Hwang Theatre of East West Players in Los Angeles.
Telly Leung
Telly Leung

The celebration, assembled by Alvin Ing — who starred in both the original Broadway and revival casts of Flower Drum Song — features performances of the musical's major songs, including "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "Grant Avenue," "Love Look Away," "Sunday," "Fan Tan Fanny" and "Gliding Through My Memoree." Show time is 7 PM.

Performers for the evening include actors who appeared in the 2002 Broadway production and/or the musical's previous production at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles: Jodi Long, Rich Ceraulo, Telly Leung, Blythe Matsui, Mark Oka, Yuka Takara, Lainie Takakura, Robert Tatad, Jenn Aedo and Erin Quill.

Nancy Kwan, Pat Suzuki, James Shigeta and David Henry Hwang are the evening's honorary chair persons. Suzuki appeared in the original Broadway production of Flower Drum, Kwan and Shigeta starred in the show's film version, and Hwang wrote the book for the 2002 Broadway revival.

Flower Drum Song originally opened at Broadway's St. James Theatre on Dec. 1, 1958. Directed by Gene Kelly and choreographed by Carol Haney, the cast featured Larry Blyden as Sammy Fong, Pat Suzuki as Linda Low, Miyoshi Umeki as Mei-Li, Juanita Hall as Madam Lian, Arabella Hong as Helen Chao and Ed Kenney as Wang Ta. It ran 600 performances.

After an acclaimed tryout at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum and nearly a month of previews on Broadway, the reworking of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical Flower Drum Song — featuring a new book by David Henry Hwang — officially opened at the Virginia Theatre Oct. 17, 2002. Featuring direction and choreography by Robert Longbottom, the musical played 26 previews and 168 performances before closing March 16, 2003. The March 15 performance of Flower Drum Song was videotaped for the permanent archives at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Flower Drum Song starred Lea Salonga as Mei-Li, a Chinese immigrant who arrives in San Francisco, having been shipped in a crate from her homeland in China. The remainder of the cast included Jose Llana (Ta), Randall Duk Kim (Master Wang), Jodi Long (Madame Liang), Emily Hsu (Linda Low), Alvin Ing (Chin), Allen Liu (Harvard), Hoon Lee (Chao) and Ma Anne Dionisio (Little Girl). The ensemble comprised Susan Ancheta, Raul Aranas, Rich Ceraulo, Eric Chan, Marcus Choi, Emily Hsu, Telly Leung, J. Elaine Marcos, Daniel May, Marc Oka, Lainie Sakakura, Yuka Takara, Robert Tatad, Kim Varhola and Ericka Yang.

The David Henry Hwang Theatre of East West Players is located at 120 Judge John Aiso Street in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets, priced $50 (including a banquet at Plum Tree Inn), are available by e-mailing aling89@cs.com.

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