Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song

AN R&H THEATRICALS TITLE

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song

Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Joseph Fields, C.Y. Lee

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  6f, 4m, 1boy(s)

Music by Richard Rodgers / Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II / Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joseph Fields / Based on the novel by C.Y. Lee

Mei Li has come from China to San Francisco to marry Sammy Fong, a nightclub owner who is already in love with a dancer at his establishment. By turns raucous and heartfelt, this delightful Chinese puzzle of embracing the new while honoring the old is a celebration of American ingenuity.

Photo: Joan Marcus

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6f, 4m, 1boy(s)
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Literature)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! 1959 Tony Award, Best Musical Director
    Nominee: Six 1959 Tony Awards, including Best Musical

Description
Mei Li has come from China to San Francisco to marry nightclub owner Sammy Fong. But Sammy loves Linda Low, a dancer at his establishment. His friend Wang Ta is urged to marry Mei Li, even though he is promised to Linda. After farcical trifles, a torn Wang Ta eventually realizes it is Mei Li whom he loves after all, and they happily marry.
History
Flower Drum Song opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on December 1, 1958, starring Miyoshi Umeki, Pat Suzuki, Larry Blyden, Juanita Hall and Ed Kenney. The show ran for 600 performances. Flower Drum Song returned to Broadway in 2002, with a revised book by David Henry Hwang. The revival, which opened on October 17, 2002, starred Lea Salonga, Sandra Allen and Jose Llana.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

Flower Drum Song takes place in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1958.

Specific Locations
Living Room in the House of Wang
Helen Chao's Room
Hill on San Francisco Bay
Wang's Living Room
Wang's Bedroom
Sammy Fong's Apartment
Back Garden of House of Wang
Three Family Association of Social Hall
Dressing Room in Celestial Bar
Grant Avenue in Chinatown
Celestial Bar

Casting

6f, 4m, 1boy(s)
Cast Attributes
  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

ENSEMBLE:
Chinese or Chinese American singing and dancing ensemble with children and several small roles.

CHARACTERS:
Madam Liang – Wang Ta’s Aunt
Liu Ma
Wang San – Wang Ta’s Brother
Wang Ta – A young Chinese American man living in his father’s (Wang Chi Yang) house in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Wang Chi Yang - A Chinese paterfamilias, unable to settle easily in America and very much on his dignity.
Sammy Fong
Dr. Li – Mei Li’s Father
Mei Li – Dr. Li’s Daughter
Linda Low
Mr. Lung (The Tailor)
Mr. Huan (The Banker)
Helen Chao
Professor Cheng
Frankie Wing
Head Waiter
Night Club Singer
Dr. Lu Fong – Sammy’s Uncle
Madam Fong – Sammy’s Mother
Dancing Ensemble
Children

CASTING NOTE:
Flower Drum Song is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1958. The characters are Chinese or Chinese American, and the roles should be cast accordingly. The use of make-up or prosthetics to alter an actor's ethnicity is prohibited.

Casting Notes

Flower Drum Song is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1958. The characters are Chinese or Chinese American, and the roles should be cast accordingly. The use of make-up or prosthetics to alter an actor's ethnicity is prohibited.

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Difficult
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: X-Large
  • Chorus Size: Large

Act I

Overture - Orchestra
Opening, Act I - Orchestra
1. "You Are Beautiful" - Wang Ta and Madame Liang
2. "A Hundred Million Miracles" - Mei-Li, Dr. Li, Madame Liang, Wang Chi-Yang and Liu Ma
2a. Bridge to Scene 2 - Orchestra
3. "I Enjoy Being A Girl" - Linda
3a. Encore: "I Enjoy Being A Girl" - Linda
4. End of Scene 2 - Orchestra
4a. Bridge to Scene 3 - Orchestra
5. Back Beating ("A Hundred Million Miracles") - Mei Li
6. "I Am Going To Like It Here" - Mei Li
6a. Bridge to Scene 4 - Orchestra
7. "Like A God" - Wang Ta
7a. Bridge to Scene 5 - Orchestra
8. "Chop Suey" - Madame Liang and Ensemble
8a. Encore: "Chop Suey" - Madame Liang and Ensemble
9. "Jazz Bit" - Linda and San
10. "Don't Marry Me" - Mei Li, Sammy Fong
11. "Grant Avenue" - Linda and Ensemble
11a. Bridge to Scene 6 - Orchestra
12. "Love, Look Away" - Helen
13. "Fan Tan Fanny" - Night Club Singer
14. "Gliding Through My Memoree" - Frankie

Act II

Entr'acte - Orchestra
15. Opening, Act II - Orchestra
16. Introduction to Ta's Dream ("You Are Beautiful") - Ta
16a. Ta's Dream - Orchestra
16b. Coda to Ballet - Orchestra
17. Reprise: "Love, Look Away" - Helen
17a. Bridge to Scene 2 - Orchestra
18. "The Other Generation" - Madame Liang and Wang Chi-Yang
19. Reprise: "You Are Beautiful" - Ta
19a. Bridge to Scene 3 - Orchestra
20. "Sunday" - Linda, Sammy Fong and Ensemble
21. Reprise: "Don't Marry Me" - Sammy Fong
22. Reprise: "The Other Generation" - Children
23. Procession - Orchestra
24. Finale: "A Hundred Million Miracles" - Ta, Mei Li and Company
25. Curtain Calls ("Sunday") - Company

Full Orchestration

Flute I (Doubling Piccolo, Alto Flute)
Flute II (Doubling Piccolo)
Oboe (Doubling English Horn)
Clarinet I (Doubling Alto Sax)
Clarinet II (Doubling Alto Sax)
Bass Clarinet (Doubling Tenor Sax)
Horn I&II
Trumpet I&II
Trumpet III
Trombone I
Trombone II
Tuba
Violin I (Divisi)
Violin II (Divisi)
Viola (Divisi)
Cello (Divisi)
Bass
Harp
Guitar (Doubling Banjo and Mandolin)
Percussion
Tom-toms
Drums (Trap Set)
Shell
Bells
Timpani
Cymbal
Soft Bells
Gong
Xylophone
Temple Block
Castanets
Ratchet
Vibraphone
Oriental Drum
Flower Drum
[Steel Mallets, Sticks, Brushes]

Materials

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano Vocal
20 Libretto Vocal
1 Flute I
1 Flute II
1 Oboe
1 Clarinet I
1 Clarinet II
1 Bass Clarinet
1 Horn I&II
1 Trumpet I&II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Tuba
1 Percussion
1 Violin I
1 Violin II
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Harp
1 Guitar
1 Logo Pack

Piano Only:

1 Piano Vocal
20 Libretto Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Music Samples

Videos

  • Flower Drum Song Promo - Palo Alto Players 2019

  • Red Bucket Follies 2018 - Flower Drum Song Celebration

  • Flower Drum Song - Ed Sullivan Show 1958

  • Flower Drum Song - Press Reel 2002

More videos +

Photos

  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song

    Credit: Joan Marcus

  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song

    Credit: Joan Marcus

More

Authors

Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers' contribution to the musical theatre of his day was extraordinary, and his influence on the musical theatre of today and tomorrow is legendary. His career spanned more than six decades, his hits ranging from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright lights of Broadway, London an ...

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Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City. His father, William, was a theatre manager and for many years director of Hammerstein's Victoria, the most popular vaudeville theatre of its day. His uncle, Arthur Hammerstein, was a successful Broadway producer and his grandfather, Os ...

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Joseph Fields

Joseph Fields (1895-1966) was the son of actor, producer and theatre owner Lew Fields (who launched Rodgers & Hart's professional career in 1919) and the brother of Herbert and Dorothy Fields (co-librettists of Annie Get Your Gun, among many other credits). Joseph Fields served in the A.E.F. during Worl ...

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C.Y. Lee

C.Y. Lee, born in Hunan, China, received a B.A. degree from Southwest Associated University, Kunming, China, and an M.F.A. with a major in playwriting from Yale University.Before his American education, Lee worked during World War II as Secretary to the Sawba of Mangshih, a small principality on the China-Bur ...

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