Today for Throwback Thursday, Arts in Color looks back at the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song. In reviews of the original 1958 production, Flower Drum Song was fairly criticized for perpetuating inaccurate stereotypes. Indeed, even the central conceit of the play, the picture bride, was wildly anachronistic for the 1950s. However, the production was also arguably groundbreaking for late 1950s Broadway. It was based on source material by a writer of Chinese origin (C.Y. Lee), it focused on a story-line about Asian American characters with no mediating white point-of-view character, and it featured actors of color in all except one principal role (that of nightclub owner and rival love interest Sammy Fong, played in yellow-face by Larry Blyden). Continue reading
How many of you have seen or at least heard of the 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific? This week’s THROWBACK THURSDAY is taking a look at the 10 time Tony award winning musical that has resonated with audience members for decades. The show was last revived in 2008, taking home 7 Tony awards while featuring Kelli O’Hara (currently in Bridges of Madison County) and Matthew Morrison (Glee).