Theater: Flower Drum Song

Rodgers & Hammerstein

This hokey 1958 Broadway hit has justly languished in dinner theaters ever since. Now, in a radical revision at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, playwright David Henry Hwang treats the original like "some kind of weird Oriental minstrel show," as one character puts it, and wraps its assimilationist anthems into a merry multicultural trip from Tiananmen Square to San Francisco's Chinatown. Director-choreographer Robert Longbottom adds a dollop of kitsch--and somehow the mix is funny and clever. It even jerks a tear or two. Broadway, get ready!

--By Margot Roosevelt

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