On The Scene
'Flower drum song' cast party
Bert Fink, senior vice president/communications for the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, left, came from New York to see Diamond Head Theatre's production of David Henry Hwang's version of "Flower Drum Song" March 21, and he joined the cast and crew at their opening night party at Town after the show. Fink said that he did not want to be misinterpreted as having had low expectations when he said that he was impressed by the quality of DHT's production. Crew member Aiko Chinen, second from left, DHT Artistic Director John Rampage, director/choreographer Greg Zane and Cathy Foy-Mahi (Madame Liang) welcomed him to the party.
London-born Vincent Green, the show's props designer, compared impressions of opening night with musical director Judy Yoshioka (he was happy, really, but he's English). The glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein score is the one part of the show that Hwang wasn't allowed to "update," and Yoshioka and her musicians do a beautiful job with it.
Kathryn Mariko Lee (Linda Lee), left, Brad Mezurashi (Wang Ta) and Autumn Ogawa (Mei-Li) talked with Emmett Yoshioka; he rescored the original score for performance by eight musicians at DHT. One of the more obvious changes in the show is that in Hwang's version Linda Low becomes Mei-Li's mentor and teaches her how to catch an American man.
Ensemble member Sandra W. Lee was escorted by veteran actors Don Nahaku, left, and Friston S. Ho'okano. Lee and the other "dancing girls" in the show strut their stuff in eye-catching style during director/choreographer Zane's floor show-style stagings of "I Enjoy Being a Girl," "Fan Tan Fannie" and "Chop Suey." Yes, the context of several numbers isn't the same as in the original Rodgers & Hammerstein version!
Local stage veteran Sean L.K. Jones attended the party with his mother, Lee Ann Jones, left, and his girlfriend, Megan Yee. Jones has played major character roles in several local musicals but said that since he'd never done Hwang's version of "Flower Drum Song," he was happy to be a member of the ensemble. "Flower Drum Song" closes next weekend with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 733-0274.