Flower Drum Song is a Broadway musical with a score by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The book for the musical was written by Hammerstein and Joseph Fields, based on the novel Flower Drum Song by C.Y. Lee. The original production opened in 1958 and starred Miyoshi Umeki, Pat Suzuki, Juanita Hall, Larry Blyden, Ed Kenney, and Arabella Hong and ran for 600 performances at the St. James Theatre.
The plot (1958 version)
The story concerns a young woman named Mei Li, who is brought from China to San Francisco to enter into an arranged marriage; she ends up living in the house of Master Wang. Her intended is already involved with a showgirl, Linda Low, and does his best to dissuade Mei Li from marrying him -- but dissolving the marriage contract is harder than either of them imagine. In the meantime, Mei Li has fallen shyly in love with Master Wang's son Wang Ta, unaware that the fickle Linda is making a play for him, too. Much more confusion occurs before things resolve.
In 1961 the musical was made into a movie, starring Nancy Kwan as Linda Low, James Shigeta, Benson Fong, Jack Soo, and original Broadway cast members Umeki and Hall. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Best Cinematography, Color, Best Costume Design, Color, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound. Among various changes for the film, the song "Like a God" was omitted.
In 2002, a revival of the show opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. With an entirely new book by David Henry Hwang, and a number of changes in the music (including new lyrics for a couple of songs, one number cut, and another cut number reinserted), the production was directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom and starred Lea Salonga. The production ran for 169 performances, the shortest ever run for any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in New York City. In defending his decision to rewrite the original book, Hwang stated, "I tried to write the book that Oscar Hammerstein would have written if he were Asian-American."
Flower Drum Song at the Internet Movie Database