Flower Drum Song was the eighth stage musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (pictured). It was based on the 1957 novel, The Flower Drum Song, by Chinese-American author C. Y. Lee. Rodgers and Hammerstein had experienced back-to-back Broadway flops and hoped for a new commercial hit. Set in San Francisco's Chinatown, the story illustrates the conflict between the traditional older generation of immigrants and the younger generation, struggling to assimilate into American culture. The piece opened in 1958 on Broadway and was a success, afterwards being presented in the West End and on tour. It was subsequently made into a 1961 musical film. After the release of the film version, the musical was rarely produced, as it presented casting issues and fears that Asian-Americans would take offense at how they are portrayed. The piece did not return to Broadway until 2002, when a version with a plot by playwright David Henry Hwang was presented after a successful Los Angeles run. It received mostly poor reviews in New York and closed after six months, but had a short national tour and has since been produced regionally.
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