David Henry Hwang: Backward and Forward / by David Hwang


Ask any Asian-American what their favorite problematic musical is and they are likely to name one of these three: The King and I, Miss Saigon, or Flower Drum Song. For me—and I feel some shame admitting it—it’s The King and I. I swooned when I saw the recent revival at Lincoln Center, directed by Bartlett Sher, featuring Kelli O’Hara’s soaring soprano and Ken Watanabe’s sexiness. As soon as the boat carrying Anna Leonowens sailed onstage (literally), I was hooked despite myself.

So was playwright and diversity advocate David Henry Hwang.

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