'To create something new, we must first love what is old,' claims Mei-Li in Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang's new adaptation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein jewel. The sentiment is obviously shared by the author himself, who has created something dazzlingly new while honoring the original material. Mei-Li flees Mao's communist China after the murder of her father and finds herself in San Francisco's Chinatown. This naïve young refugee is befriended by Wang, who is struggling to keep the Chinese opera tradition alive despite his son's determination to turn the old opera house into a swingin' Western-style nightclub. A unique blending of American razz-ma-tazz and stylized Chinese opera traditions creates a beautifully theatrical tapestry. The wonderful score, by turns lushly romantic and showbiz-brassy, retains all of its luster in this lovely new version of an American classic. Mei-Li's gradual assimilation is informed by her realization that the old and new can coexist when there is respect for both. It is in that spirit that R&H Theatricals makes available both the original and new versions of FLOWER DRUM SONG.