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Faces of the East: Casting Flower Drum Song (2006)

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Oscar Hammerstein II ...
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7 November 2006 (USA)  »

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This featurette is featured on the Flower Drum Song (1961) Special Edition DVD, released in 2006. See more »

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[first lines]
Ted Chapin: It was astonishing in 1958 for anybody to write a major Broadway musical in which all characters were Asian American and taken seriously.
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Features Flower Drum Song (1961) See more »

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Faces of the East: Casting Flower Drum Song was another interesting extra on the Flower Drum Song DVD
11 July 2014 | by (Baton Rouge, LA) – See all my reviews

This was another extra on the Flower Drum Song DVD. It chronicles the casting of the Broadway version with a nice anecdote about director Gene Kelly's encountering Jack Soo at a nightclub original author C.Y. Lee took him to which led him to casting him on Broadway as the M.C. there with one condition-he change his name from Jack Suzuki to Jack Soo! The stills from that show also reveal that Caucasion actor Larry Blyden played the nightclub owner Sammy Fong before Soo played him in the movie. There's also the discussion of how the musical was originally perceived as positive concerning the portrayal of Asian Americans before it was thought there were some stereotypical characterizations that made it embarrassing for some of those of such nationalities of the younger generation. Interesting take from all the participants involved.


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