Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Flower Drum Song runs until Feb. 19 | Mu Performing Arts

Sun, February 19, 2017 8:00 AM | Anonymous
On behalf of Gail Chang Bohr:

Mu Performing Arts "Flower Drum Song" - the musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein updated by David Henry Hwang, playwright - is playing now in St. Paul through Feb. 19, 2017, at the Park Square Theatre. Mu Performing Arts, aka Theater Mu, is the Asian American Theatre started in the Twin Cities by Rick Shiomi who directed MNAPABA's Korematsu enactment in 2015. I went to opening night - and I can say without reservation, this play is well worth seeing.  It not only has great songs and music and great acting by an Asian American cast, it also deals with issues of identity, assimilation, and immigration - all topics relevant for our times!   Also, MNAPABA members, Daniel Le, Michael Dai, and Ivan Fong sit on Mu's board of directors.

                               

Celebrate Mu's 25th Anniversary

 

Flower Drum Song

 

Flower Drum Song

 

"To create something new, we must first love what is old," claims Mei-Li in Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang's new adaptation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein jewel. The sentiment is obviously shared by the author himself, who has created something dazzlingly new while honoring the original material. 

 

Mei-Li flees Mao's communist China after the murder of her father and finds herself in San Francisco's Chinatown. This naïve young refugee is befriended by Wang, who is struggling to keep the Chinese opera tradition alive despite his son's determination to turn the old opera house into a swingin' Western-style nightclub.

 

A unique blending of American razz-ma-tazz and stylized Chinese opera traditions creates a beautifully theatrical tapestry. The wonderful score, by turns lushly romantic and showbiz-brassy, retains all of its luster in this lovely new version of an American classic. Mei-Li's gradual assimilation is informed by her realization that the old and new can coexist when there is respect for both.

 

Flower Drum Song

 

"Flower Drum Song has the elements of classic Rodgers and Hammerstein mixed with the beautiful flavors of Asian sounds and culture."

"It's highly entertaining. The music, as everyone knows, is great. When you mix the vaudeville influences with nightclub and Peking Opera, plus a complicated love story, you get a lot of heart and soul. Plus, it's being done with great talent. We have 17 members of the cast, all Asian-American. And they're having fun."

 

-- Randy Reyes, director of Flower Drum Song, and Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts

 

 

Flower Drum Song

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