Flower Drum Song [New Broadway Cast Recording]

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
The hit Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song owes its success to may factors --David Henry Hwang's revamped book; Don Sebesky's sparkling orchestrations; Robert Longbottom's snappy direction and choreography, among them-- but none more so than the talent and star presence of Lea Salonga. A Tony Award winner for Miss Saigon, Salonga perfectly inhabits the leading role of Mei-Long in this brilliantly revamped version of the original 1958 show. The score itself is a wonder featuring such highlights as "A Hundred Million Miracles," "Grant Avenue," "You Are Beautiful," "Love, Look Away," and the feel-good classic "I Enjoy Being a Girl," here given ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
The hit Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song owes its success to may factors --David Henry Hwang's revamped book; Don Sebesky's sparkling orchestrations; Robert Longbottom's snappy direction and choreography, among them-- but none more so than the talent and star presence of Lea Salonga. A Tony Award winner for Miss Saigon, Salonga perfectly inhabits the leading role of Mei-Long in this brilliantly revamped version of the original 1958 show. The score itself is a wonder featuring such highlights as "A Hundred Million Miracles," "Grant Avenue," "You Are Beautiful," "Love, Look Away," and the feel-good classic "I Enjoy Being a Girl," here given an effervescent reading by Salonga. Capturing all the poignancy and dazzle of the musical itself, this original cast recording is both an enchanting souvenir for those who have enjoyed the show and a self-contained delight for those whom haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing the musical.
Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
The hit Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song owes its success to many factors -- David Henry Hwang’s revamped book, Don Sebesky’s sparkling orchestrations, and Robert Longbottom’s snappy direction and choreography, among them -- but none more so than the talent and star presence of Lea Salonga. A Tony Award winner for Miss Saigon, Salonga perfectly inhabits the leading role of Mei-Long in this brilliantly revamped version of the original 1958 show. The score itself is a wonder, featuring such highlights as "A Hundred Million Miracles," "Grant Avenue," "You Are Beautiful," "Love, Look Away," and the feel-good classic "I Enjoy Being a Girl,” here given an effervescent reading by Salonga. Capturing all the poignancy and dazzle of the musical itself, this original cast recording is both an enchanting souvenir for those who have enjoyed the show and a self-contained delight for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Flower Drum Song is unique among Rodgers & Hammerstein's musicals in that it was neither a massive success like Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, nor a flop like Allegro, Pipe Dream, and Me & Juliet. It was a moderate success: Its 600-performance run on Broadway, 1958-1960, returned a profit to investors; its cast album was a gold-selling number one hit; and it spawned a film that was one of the Top Ten grossers of 1962. That it was not revived on Broadway for 44 years, however, has more to do with its creaky libretto than its initial popularity. The story of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco, based on a popular novel of the day, may have been forward-looking in the late '50s, when the sight of a stage largely full of Asian-heritage actors was surprising on Broadway, but after decades of increased ethnic pride, it seemed stereotyped, and that the show's best-known song was "I Enjoy Being a Girl," which, taken out of context, sounded anti-feminist, didn't help. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization has taken radical measures to get the show back to Broadway, allowing playwright David Henry Hwang M. Butterfly to dispense with the original libretto and write a whole new book. Hwang's new take is less apparent on a cast album that only features the songs, but there are indications of his changes throughout, with lyrics reconfigured and sometimes clearly sung tongue-in-cheek. And Don Sebesky's new orchestrations don't just use oriental quotes, as did Robert Russell Bennett's; they delve more deeply into Asian styles. Lea Salonga leads an excellent cast in executing the new version. Flower Drum Song is still a minor, if pleasant entry in the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog, but it has been given a successful face-lift here.

Flower Drum Song is unique among Rodgers & Hammerstein's musicals in that it was neither a massive success like Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, nor a flop like Allegro, Pipe Dream, and Me & Juliet. It was a moderate success: Its 600-performance run on Broadway, 1958-1960, returned a profit to investors; its cast album was a gold-selling number one hit; and it spawned a film that was one of the Top Ten grossers of 1962. That it was not revived on Broadway for 44 years, however, has more to do with its creaky libretto than its initial popularity. The story of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco, based on a popular novel of the day, may have been forward-looking in the late '50s, when the sight of a stage largely full of Asian-heritage actors was surprising on Broadway, but after decades of increased ethnic pride, it seemed stereotyped, and that the show's best-known song was "I Enjoy Being a Girl," which, taken out of context, sounded anti-feminist, didn't help. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization has taken radical measures to get the show back to Broadway, allowing playwright David Henry Hwang M. Butterfly to dispense with the original libretto and write a whole new book. Hwang's new take is less apparent on a cast album that only features the songs, but there are indications of his changes throughout, with lyrics reconfigured and sometimes clearly sung tongue-in-cheek. And Don Sebesky's new orchestrations don't just use oriental quotes, as did Robert Russell Bennett's; they delve more deeply into Asian styles. Lea Salonga leads an excellent cast in executing the new version. Flower Drum Song is still a minor, if pleasant entry in the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog, but it has been given a successful face-lift here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/7/2003
  • Label: Drg
  • UPC: 021471299625
  • Catalog Number: 12996
  • Sales rank: 162,588

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Act 1. Prologue: A Hundred Million Miracles - Lea Salonga (8:21)
  2. 2 Act 1. At the Golden Pearl (0:46)
  3. 3 Act 1. I Am Going to Like It Here - Lea Salonga (2:56)
  4. 4 Act 1. I Enjoy Being A Girl - Sandra Allen (5:55)
  5. 5 Act 1. I Enjoy Being A Girl (Encore) - Sandra Allen (0:45)
  6. 6 Act 1. You Are Beautiful - Jose Llana (4:16)
  7. 7 Act 1. Grant Avenue - Sandra Allen (3:22)
  8. 8 Act 1. Sunday - Jose Llana (2:29)
  9. 9 Act 1. I Enjoy Being A Girl (Reprise) - Lea Salonga (0:53)
  10. 10 Act 1. Fan Tan Fannie - Sandra Allen (4:15)
  11. 11 Act 1. Gliding Through My Memoree (3:06)
  12. 12 Act 1. Finale: A Hundred Million Miracles - Lea Salonga (1:44)
  13. 13 Act 2. Chop Suey (3:45)
  14. 14 Act 2. My Best Love - Alvin Ing (2:15)
  15. 15 Act 2. I Am Going to Like It Here (Reprise) (1:12)
  16. 16 Act 2. Don't Marry Me (2:39)
  17. 17 Act 2. Love, Look Away - Lea Salonga (2:52)
  18. 18 Act 2. The Most Filial Son (0:56)
  19. 19 Act 2. Like a God - Jose Llana (1:30)
  20. 20 Act 2. Like a God (Reprise) - Jose Llana (0:35)
  21. 21 Act 2. Processional (1:20)
  22. 22 Act 2. Finale: A Hundred Million Miracles - Jose Llana (3:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Chase Conductor, Vocals
Ray Grappone Percussion, Drums
Jill Jaffe Violin, Viola
Howard Joines Percussion
Suzanne Ornstein Violin
Clay Ruede Cello, Erhu
Russ Rizner-French Horn
Lea Salonga Vocals, cast
Jack Schatz Trombone, Bass Trombone
Marti Sweet Violin
Mineko Yajima Mandolin, Violin, Concert Master
Christoph Franzgrote Violin
Paul Woodiel Violin
Dr. David Evans Synthesizer, Piano
Marisol Espada Cello
Chuck Wilson Clarinet, Flute, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Andrew Schwartz Banjo, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Pipa
Richard Heckman Clarinet, Flute, English Horn, Oboe, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Stu Satalof Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Grace Paradise Harp
Eric Chan cast
Daniel May cast
Alvin Ing Vocals, cast
Mark Oka cast
Jose Llana Vocals, cast
Randall Duk Kim cast
Sandra Allen Vocals, cast
Marcus Choi cast
Claire Chan Violin
Emily Hsu cast
Lou Bruno Bass
Susan Ancheta cast
J. Elaine Marcos cast
Telly Leung cast
Yuka Takara cast
Flower Drum Song Cast Ensemble cast
Jodi Long Vocals
Flower Drum Song Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Randall Duk Kim Vocals
David Evans Synthesizer, Piano
Allen Liu Vocals
Technical Credits
Richard Rodgers Composer
David Chase Producer, Liner Notes, Vocal Arrangements, Direction, Dance Arrangement, Music Adaptations
Don Sebesky Orchestration
Hugh Fordin Producer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer, Lyricist
Alan Silverman Mastering
Cynthia Daniels Engineer, Engineering
Joan Marcus Production Photography
Richard Heckman Engineer
LuAnn Graffeo Art Direction
Bruce Pomahac Associate Supervisor
Theodore S. Chapin Liner Notes
Robin Wagner Scenic Design
Keith Shortreed Digital Editing
David Henry Hwang Book
Gregg Barnes Costume Design
Robert Longbottom Director, Choreographer
Wayne Blood Associate Supervisor
Craig Schwartz Cover Photo
Lu Ann Graffeo Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding, absolutely Outstanding!!

    Outstanding performance of an outstanding production. Magnificent!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding!

    A daring production that revises the original, politically incorrect, and dated script (thanks to David Henry Hwang). Performed by a first-rate cast (led by the very talented Lea Salonga), with outstanding choreography and direction from Robert Longbottom. Excellent music and orchestration. Excellent recording (with a creative pakaging to boot)!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT!

    After seeing this performace on Broadway a little while ago, I knew that I had to get the CD! it is wonderful music, the singers will blow you away!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fantastic!

    Excellent performances, wonderful orchestration, beautiful music -- and very creative CD packaging. A complete treat!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing

    my school is doing this musical this year and this cd has personally helped me do my performance of Sammy Fong.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing! Lea Salonga Rocks!

    This cd is very highly recommended! It's brilliant, funny, and just plain easy listening. Lea Salonga is phenominal! And she is backed up by a brilliant cast and a brilliant score! This is a must have for any musical theatre fan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Amazing, Inspiring

    This CD best showcases the wonderful R&H Flower Drum score. The cast led by the incredible, pure-voiced Lea Salonga, this CD is a must-own. The best casting choice of the season is Lea Salonga's Mei Li. Salonga posseses one of the best voices on Broadway ... of the theatre. Her rendition of Love, Look Away is heartfelt and sung with vocal prowess. Jose Llana upstages his "so-so" acting job on stage. He has a beautiful lyric bari-tenor voice ... if only he could act as well. But his rendition of Like A God and Sunday in this CD are good! Sandra Allen ... the best choice for Linda Low!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Something old, something new...

    One of the better Broadway albums I've gotten in a while. The music is beatiful, new and exciting; the voices powerful and clear. I think it captures and preserves everything that made this musical wonderful. Lea Salonga's "Love Look Away" and the opening number "A Hundred Million Miracles" evoke all the images of the production. Sandra Allen's renditions of "I Enjoy Being a Girl" and "Fan Tan Fannie" are fun and flirtatous and have now become my new favorites. Musical Director/Co-Producer David Chase makes note in the CD jacket about the tradiional Chinese instruments that are used in the show and their sounds come through like a dream on this recording, especially the strong and vibrant percussion which the show relies heavily on. Following the concept of the show, the music showcases the struggle between tradition and conformity. It utilizes both the traditional sounds of Chinese instruments and opera as well as more modern technology and pop sounds. Different from the orginal in that some characters have been eliminated and new characters introduced and songs re-assigned. While sticking to the old Rogers and Hammerstein score, the CD is laced with pieces of David Henry Hwang's new book. An excellent addition to any Broadway fan's collection!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An Excellent Recording

    This new recording is close to perfect. Gorgeous musical arrangements, soaring melodies, a top-rate singing cast! Rodgers and Hammerstein's music on this opus is seriously underrated in my opinion. And the cast has truly given justice to the lovely score. Lea Salonga, who was the original Miss Saigon, gives a terrific performance here. Never have I heard such a pure voice whose range is so broad - the emotions she pours into each track is remarkable. Listen to "Hundred Million Miracles" and "Love Look Away". Jose Llana is equally talented. He shines in all his tracks, particularly the stirring "Like A God". His duet with Salonga in "You Are Beautiful" is inspiring. Of course, Sandra Allen's "I Enjoy Being A Girl" is not to be left out. Her version of this classic is done in a sort of "slinky, sexy" manner that showcases the character's charm. This recording truly gives justice to the show. If you haven't seen the show yet, grab a copy of the recording! You will not be dissappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

    Just bought my FDS CD today and all I can say is it is FANTASTIC!!! From the very first time Ms. Salonga opens her mouth to sing, I was hooked. IMHO, she possesses one of the most beautiful and melodious voices in Broadway today. Her leading man, Jose Llana is equally wonderful. I definitely prefer this over the original CD. After listening to this fabulous CD a couple times, I immediately bought tickets for next month in Broadway. Very highly recommended!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews