Speaker 1 Oh, boy, I started dancing at the age of three at the Katherine Dunham School and at the age of five, are they the casting people for King? And I went to Chinatown looking for children. And so we all came up on the train with our mothers and we went to the audition and there were hundreds and hundreds of children there. But the next day I saw my photograph in the paper with like 300 kids. And I was in the front and I got the show. I also had to read and I didn't know how to read lines, so my mother had to feed them to me. But I did get the role of Princess Yallock at 5:00 and I was on a white contract where the other kids were. They were on pink contracts. And I think I was not impressed with being in a show, it was more like a game, but I loved going to the theater early and looking out into the theater and seeing the red velvet seats and and just all my surroundings and becoming a professional at 5:00 because some of the kids had been in South Pacific and some other shows. So I had to really catch up. Being on stage was was very easy for me. I, I learned everybody's lines. I knew everybody dances. I even learned Small House of Uncle Thomas. And we put on shows upstairs on the eighth floor at the St. James Theatre. And I played all the parts and I directed everybody. So I was directing and choreographing. If I just remember seeing those people out there that made the decisions to change things or tell us what to do. And I was always interested in and what was going on out there, and it was Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and John Rudin and and they directed me. And I didn't know what it was to be directed by, you know, great people. I just knew that I was doing the best that I could do. And it was a big game and I loved it.

Speaker 2 Let's go back let's go back to the audition. Tell me again that you auditioned for the you. And what did they make you do and how long did you have to wait? And what was what was it like?

Speaker 1 Um, we had to wait in the alley at the St. James Theatre. And of course, at five, you know, you you're seeing all these kids and and your mother's giving you games to play to keep you busy. They were calling kids in, you know, I'm sure, of ten or 15 at a time looking at them. Um, we didn't have to do much. I really believed we were casted on tape and I was one of the littlest there. I can't imagine what they saw in me. I was just one of many. But I was asked to to read lines and I didn't know how to read at that time. So my mother had to feed me the lines and I memorized them. And I went in and I performed. I have no idea why they took me, except that I was small and cute, I guess.

Speaker 2 And talk again about being directed by Richard Rodgers. Did he actually say things a little tighter? Yeah. Tell us whether he actually talked to the cast to talk to you. Was there when you were learning when you were there

Speaker 1 a couple of times. I believe he did speak to us and explained what what he wanted, especially when we were singing a whistle, a happy tune, and we were swaying. And he wanted to hear more lyrics and diction and things like that. But we were you know, the kids were always taken off and we were always worked with alone. So we weren't really part of the the process that that I go through when when I'm directing a show where I've just done a show, Gypsy and the kids are involved and and they were at the rehearsals. But I always remember being separate from from the company.

Speaker 2 Tell us how many how long you were in South Pacific. Say the name again, South Pacific.

Speaker 1 And I wasn't in South Pacific long enough.

Speaker 2 Sorry. Yes. Tell us how long you were in King. And I can say the name King and I go and tell us whether Richard Rodgers was around or did you disappear? Did he come backstage? Was never around.

Speaker 1 I was in King and I for two and a half years. I outgrew my costume and I was one of the first to leave. And that was heartbreaking. Richard Rodgers, I don't I was so young. I didn't I knew him as Mr Rogers. He always came around, but I didn't really know who he was. And you know, what he had written. I knew he was the composer, but what did composers do? But he was always around and everyone loved the children, the original cast. They always kept in touch with us afterwards, also sending us cards and things like that.

Speaker 2 That was a great little snippet of that. You outgrew your costume. Can you. Let me ask you again and tell me in a different way without saying as I said before, um, talk about when you got to a place and why

Speaker 1 I grew up and I outgrew my costume and I could not believe that they were going to let me go. There were three of us and it was very, very heartbreaking. And we had formed a family, of course, I was choreographing and directing up on the eighth floor. And so everybody they wouldn't they weren't going to have a show anymore. It was very hard for me. I just remember the gifts that were given to me. Yul Brynner gave me a white elephant. And it had three trunks and it was the front and two sides, and he said, this is for you never to look back and I still have that that elephant. And I walk down the street down 44th Street, and I turned around and I said, I will be back. And I was and I played that theater over and over again and even choreographed in that theater in St. James Theater.

Speaker 2 Let's talk about the stars. Were they nice? Were they helpful? Mm hmm. Talk about them by name.

Speaker 1 OK. First is Gertrude Lawrence, and I loved going to the theater early. So right after school, I would my brother would bring me to the theater. We'd take the train up from Chinatown and I would go to the theater and I would sign in. I loved signing in and you Brittas dressing room was on the first floor and he wasn't in at three thirty or four o'clock, but I'd go up the stairs and there was Gertrude Lawrence and she would be vocalizing and putting on her makeup and her, her dresser. Hazel would come out and she'd say, Miss Lawrence, because I'd be singing all the songs up the stairs or vocalizing with her. And she'd say, Miss Lawrence is vocalizing. And I would just sit down on the stairs and listen to her vocalize. And and then she that was in her other room. And then she'd come out and she'd start putting her makeup on and I would be outside and she'd say, come in, come in. And I'd sit down and just watch. I just loved going to the theater early and then I'd go upstairs and start my homework. And this was every day I and she got to the theatre much earlier than I did. And then there was Yul Brynner who would come in, I guess, around four or five. And then I'd come back downstairs and knock on Father's door, and we all called him Father because he was our father. And and then I'd sit and watch him put on his makeup, but he would talk, you know what he you know, tell me about what he did that day. And then years and years and years later, after I had been in a chorus line, I spent at least three or four months with him in London. And I sat next to him and watch him put his makeup on again and we'd talk and talk. And this time he was talking about directing because I started directing A Chorus Line and he really helped me through some hard times in directing and and guiding me.

Speaker 2 Can you imitate him? Can you tell us moment from when you were a little girl in the dressing room, something he might say,

Speaker 1 et cetera, et cetera, et cetera? Yes. And I have I have his pictures here. And I've I spent a lot of time with him at his house in Deauville in France when I was just about to go to Stockholm to direct a chorus line. And he was just wonderful. He also gave us acting lessons. You know, he would talk about scenes and developing characters and but I didn't know what he was talking about at that time. And as I said years later, I certainly knew what he was talking about and absorbed everything that wonderful.

Speaker 2 Let's talk about the dance for a second, let's talk about the march of the Chinese children know we're not going to talk about.

Speaker 1 I'm sorry,

Speaker 2 can you mention the march of the Siamese children by name and talk about it? Tell us what it was and what it was, how you were taught it.

Speaker 1 The march of the Siamese children was the introduction of the children to Mrs. Ana. And of course, I was one of the smallest children. I was the smallest. And so I was carried in. That was great. But I was carried in by Lee Bekker Theodore, who, you know, turned out to be the famous choreographer. So, of course, at that time I didn't know what then. I loved it. I just loved it. And because I had been dancing since three, I wanted to walk, but because I was so small that I was in.

Speaker 2 How much time did they spend teaching everybody? I mean, you obviously didn't have didn't have much to learn because you just had to sit there. But was it a long, arduous process? Did the kids get it to talk about choreography on?

Speaker 1 Most of the kids were professional. They went to professional children's school. They had been in shows. I don't know where they came from. But, you know, I always felt like an outsider because I had never done anything. But they got it. And so it was up to me to get it because I did not want to be left behind. And, you know, it was it was an intricate choreography. The thing that fascinated me was the small house of Uncle Thomas. And that's what I wanted to do. And I used to watch the the girls, the dancers warm up and I would ask my mother to speak to them and ask them where I could learn that. And Lee, Theodore and Yuriko had gone to the Martha Graham and a Balanchine school. And that really influenced my decision at five to have a career as a dancer. And I was on track. I didn't want to do anything else. That's what I wanted to do. So the Richard Rodgers music, Jerome Robbins dancing, those two combined really influenced me.

Speaker 2 Tell us about this little house of Uncle Thomas. What was the dance? What happened? Why was it so amazing to. OK, good.

Speaker 1 The small house of an Uncle Thomas was the yes, the small house of Uncle Thomas was the performance that Tuptim gives to the English that have arrived in Bangkok. And it it fascinated me because it was storytelling and then the dance and that has influenced me. Also always tell your story in your dance against Tamil. Also had done that in Oklahoma. You know, she had her her leading characters there. She danced their fears and and their desires in the dream ballet, all of that. You know, it's it's all back in my memory, but it has really influenced me in in my choreography. The small house of Uncle Thomas, the movies were wonderful. Jerome Robbins combined his his dancing with the Balinese dancing. And Yuriko, who had been Martha Graham's leading dancer. She was the lead. He was so fascinating being around all of this talent. And and we lived we say lived because that's where they put us on the eighth floor. They would allow a few of us to come down and watch and I would imitate the moves. And and finally, one of the girls became the Buddha and she could watch the choreography and we danced it. We lived it. I loved that show. I really did.

Unidentified Great, fantastic. Um.

Speaker 2 Do you think it was the storytelling of Jerome Robbins or was the dance sort of, in a sense in the bones of the play? Was it talk about whether it was already there

Speaker 1 on the dance? Was the bones of the play, the moves? Everything was so organic. And and I remember watching The Ed Sullivan Show and seeing the Balinese dancers come from from Thailand. And they had a tiny little girl. And I said, oh, she looks like me and I want to do that. And I remember those moves. Everything was so organic and authentic that the storytelling was just a question.

Speaker 2 Great fun. Brush your hair, just this side is one here, OK? You got it. OK, um, let's talk about Richard Rodgers music and help there, but. And dance music, OK, and talk about weather. What do you need

Speaker 1 now, know my friends? OK, well, after three years or two and a half years being in the King and I and I walked down the street and I looked back and I said, I'll be back. Well, a few years later, there was an audition for Flower Drum Song. And so I told my mother, I've got to go, I've got to go, I've got to go. And in the meantime, I had been taking dance and there was a big audition for children as well as dancers. And we are back at the St. James Theatre in the alley again. And I went in and I think they had about 10 or 15 children walk in and stand on stage. And I was eliminated and I was crushed. And as I was leaving practically in tears, Mr Rogers and Mr Hammerstein walked into the theatre and I said to my mother, I'm going back in. They'll remember me, they'll remember me. And so I got past the monitor and I was put on stage again. And I heard this voice basically step out and it was Mr Rogers. And we started talking and he said, Gosh, you've grown. And I had gotten taller. And the next day I was in the papers with with he and Mr Hammerstein and I had gotten the show. So he was responsible for me getting into flower drum song. And then because I was in the other generation, I could not be in Fantan Fanny because they were strippers. But they needed a cover for Anita Ellis to sing Fantan Fanny and I loved Patsy Zuki. And so I bought all of her albums and I, I would sing like her all the time. And because of that, I got the cover to Anita Ellis and Fantan Fanny. Mr Rogers gave that to me and I was going to Performing Arts High School

Speaker 2 and you for a second because I'm not sure our audience will understand. OK, OK. And under and Fanny is in the show and the show. It's the No. OK, so that's just like you didn't say before, being a great little story. OK, explain. You know, tell me what it is.

Speaker 1 OK, it's an understudy and you cover a role.

Speaker 2 Yes. Yes I understand. I think people understand. Oh ok. OK. Yeah. But also play drums and it's not like a show that's in everybody's right. Whatever you can do that now.

Speaker 1 Right. Right.

Speaker 2 OK, great. Does he rather have you do. What is this part of your collar.

Speaker 1 This side is starting to

Speaker 2 roll set better. Just left the inner. This part.

Speaker 1 This part.

Speaker 2 Yeah.

Speaker 1 Sally sorry.

Speaker 2 You got it.

Speaker 1 Did I get it up here.

Speaker 2 It's going to roll back. That's OK. That's let's I'll fix it again. Thanks. So tell me about that. Describe the scene.

Speaker 1 OK, Fantan Fanni is is a song in the show that Suzuki does in the strip club that she's working at. And I was not allowed to be in that number because I was one of the kids. But they needed an understudy to sing the song because Anita Ellis was maybe out. And so I went and got Pat Suzuki's albums and I would sing all of her songs. And I wanted to be Petoskey and and I got the understudy. Mr Rogers gave that to me. So I was going to Performing Arts High School at the time. And you were not allowed to to work. So I made an agreement with with the stage manager. Performing Arts High School was on 46 Street and the theater's on 44th. We knew that Fantan Fanni went on at three 10. Anita Ellis finally left the show and I got the role. So I had my dresser's waiting at the stage door and I would get out of school at 3:00, run to the theatre, take off my clothes. They would take my books and they would put me in my costume and I would go dancing. There was also the problem of high heels. I had never worn three inch high heels. And Carol Hainey said that she would volunteer and she came back to teach me how to walk in the high heels. So one day Mr Rogers never came to the theatre on matinee days. He he usually came in the evenings and he sent a note backstage and he said, Bojorquez seems to be out of breath and a little off pitch. And so it was because I was jogging to the theatre. And so every day I would or matinee days I would walk quickly, try to calm down, and I would sing all the way from 44th forty six to forty Fourth Street. Why? So I wouldn't be off pitch and out of breath because I knew that he would be coming in

Speaker 2 Telesis, that he would walk and sing because you're

Speaker 1 right.

Speaker 2 Yeah, right, right, right.

Speaker 1 I would walk very quickly and I would sing my song all the way from 46 Street to 44th Street because I knew that Mr. Rogers would be coming in on Wednesdays just to hear if I was off pitch.

Speaker 2 Perfection, perfection, you need to no, because we think we can bring together, um, talk about what had changed in those eight years in Broadway musicals, had anything changed? What was the buzz about Flower Drum song? What was different about Broadway?

Speaker 1 Hmm, let me think. Being Asian at the time was really important because we had majority of one flower drum song and Suzie Wong across the street, three shows that had Asians in it or American Orientals or whatever we were called in those days. I think that was really very important. It has changed. Now we have Pantages Theater, but for so many years there was nothing for American, Chinese or American Asian. I'm I'm hoping that Chorus Line and my part has helped to give short little Chinese girls some work. I don't know if I answered the question, but he did

Speaker 2 and he did do it that way. But also what what was what did you hear about what did the Asian acting community hear about flower drum song? What would be Miss Rodgers and Hammerstein tackling this subject? Was there a buzz around it? Had they changed since King and I just in your opinion as a performer? Was it a big deal? Was there any racial discussions?

Speaker 1 Not really. And I'll just saying this off camera, because nothing was expected, you know, it was it was a bonus to be in in a show that had Asian-Americans and we knew that it was our time and we probably would never have another chance again. So the buzz was good.

Speaker 2 Good. OK. Um. Tell us about Gene Kelly.

Speaker 1 Oh, Gene Kelly. Oh, well, I had seen him in his films, and to be working with him was, oh my goodness, to be working with Gene Kelly, I guess it was it was his first directing job. And because I was one of the children, he didn't really have much to do with us because he was dealing with the actors. But he was Gene Kelly, you know, he I was just in all of him. What else can I say? He was exactly the way he was on film. There were lots of discussions. And, you know, he'd be in a corner and I didn't know what directors did then. You know, I just wanted to dance and I wanted to be like the big girls and dance the book and words. And I wasn't into that. And I'm so sorry, because now that's all that matters.

Speaker 2 You were only 13. I know. So. All right. Tell us the story of Flower Drum song. And tell us what Richard Rodgers, you think he was after with his sound, with this music.

Speaker 1 Flower drum song is is about the older generation and the young Oriental American generation trying to break away and become Americans and the older generation just, you know, still bringing the old country and the old ideas to America. I'm still going through that now. So I think it's wonderful that that they tackled the subject it needed to be. Addressed. There's going to be another version of it now that that has really, I hear is totally different and it's it's from a different point of view. But at that time, in the in the 50s, it was quite it was quite something to have that subject talked about. Even in Chinatown. You know, my cousin's coming up to see the show. And because that's exactly the way it was, you were sent off the first born was sent off to China to get a wife or a picture bride to be, you know, to to marry. So it's all true.

Speaker 2 Looking back now, why do you think two white upper class guys would do a show like that?

Speaker 1 I'm sure the book interests them, but why did Gershwin write Porgy and Bess? I don't know. I really don't know. The music was so different from King and I and Flower Drum song. I felt it was so authentic in in King and I. But the gongs and and I really felt as though I was in Bangkok flower drum song. I felt like I was in a musical of a Rodgers and Hart movie musical. I think maybe because Gene Kelly was involved and we expected to to be dancing like him, maybe that's why it was different. Now that I'm a choreographer and and I and I'm working with dance arrangers and I see what's necessary to to get this to bring the story forward and what's needed. And I can't imagine Richard Rodgers sitting with a choreographer all day and working, but he did. And his dance arrangements are wonderful.

Speaker 2 Did you mean to say Rodgers and Hart? You mean to say Rodgers and Hammerstein? It was the writers. And you said,

Speaker 1 oh, I'm sorry.

Speaker 2 Sorry, could you just say that again? Because that was a very nice difference, not the authentic nature. So I don't worry. You don't have to say the exact same thing I say is fine. Tell me about the music of the two shows.

Speaker 1 I felt that the King and I, the music was very authentic and I really felt as though I was in Bangkok and in Flower Drum song. I felt as though I was in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical where I could tap dance and I could just do anything. Now that I'm choreographing and working with dance arrangers, I can't imagine Mr. Rogers sitting all day in a studio with a choreographer, but I guess he did. And his dance arrangements are wonderful.

Speaker 2 Talk about his dance, talk about how danceable they are they might be and why they work. What's so great about.

Speaker 1 Oh. His music is definitely danceable,

Speaker 2 but he was, yeah,

Speaker 1 Mr. Rogers, music is definitely danceable. And why? Because I think more than anybody else, he really got into the soul of of the dance and the choreographer while he was writing it. Does that make sense? I don't know. You know, it's you know, I just felt

Speaker 2 but just instinctively to see what you think and how you respond to how.

Speaker 1 Movement is is so easy with his with his music, you don't have to struggle, your body just responds to it. And and Coria choreography is not always easy, but I think it's easy with his music home run.

Speaker 2 Great. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you just synthesized it right into the perfect little nutshell. Great, great, great, great. Talk about that. The choreographers that he were used and that he worked with. And what's your impression of his either relationship with them or just that maybe maybe tell us who they were and that they're a grand list? And what does that mean for for him to choose that?

Speaker 1 Oh, I'm talking we're talking about legends in their own right that he has worked with his choreographers, you know, Agnes to M. and Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. I mean. In their own right, you know, they they are they have broken ground in musical theater and in ballet and then to to add Mr. Rogers music to their work, I'm just in awe. I'm just a little pebble, you know, rolling around, watching all of that and and learning. Constantly learning.

Speaker 2 Tell us what it says perhaps about his confidence that he would go and choose people that had such great stature. Well.

Speaker 1 Mr. Rogers having confidence in Agnes Tomalin, Jerome Robinson, Balanchine, I'm sure he would want the best and he got the best because I'm sure that they understood his vision and they put it in their dance. And they did.

Speaker 2 Um. And other stars, dance things, no dancing music, um, maybe just if you just even just sort of being sort of visceral as a choreographer and a dancer, when you hear some of that music, I mean, you really you got to it. But maybe just a little more specifically, I can't think of another composer who did as much for dance at all. I mean, nobody, not Porter, none of them being put together. And maybe why that is or or what is the what does he give to a choreographer? What is the gift? If you're a choreographer, you walk into a room and you know, you've got a Rogers score, you've got Rogers tunes in an arrangement. What does that what does that do for someone who works in dance? But talk to

Speaker 1 me, oh, I know, I'm just thinking, what does it do when you walk in a room and you have a Roger score? As a dancer and as a choreographer, I think he gets to the soul of of of the dancer, of the choreographer, the music. Allows you to be free. There's nothing that limits you with his music.

Speaker 2 Yeah. Good, good.

Speaker 1 That right, Larry,

Speaker 2 you're the choreographer. Can you can you close your eyes for a second and think of the great choreography that you've seen that Balanchine might have done or did? Miller Robinson described one of those just, you know, give us an example and why it's so soring, so wonderful.

Speaker 1 The dream ballet in Oklahoma. Every single character. That she portrayed every single movement that she gave those dancers. You live with them through her choreography. And that's what I want to do when I choreograph, I want my dancers to live the choreography, live the moment, live the scene, live the dialogue.

Speaker 2 Because what does that do for the audience, what does that give to the audience combined with the story and the music and talk about?

Speaker 1 When all of those elements are in place, the audience breathes with what's happening on the stage or they stop breathing, hopefully, and that's what we want them to do. We want them to just live and breathe with us every single second.

Speaker 2 In his situation. Yeah, did you do you know any maybe from hearsay or reading or something you can relate to us about Rogers working with choreographer's what that was like besides living in a room? No, no. Did you hear that? Did you get that you were young,

Speaker 1 you know?

Speaker 2 OK, but it might be nice just for people who don't know what even how it how a composer and a choreographer work, just maybe in general talk about the process of, you know, you've got a big dance sequence is a composer working with the choreographer choreographer, which what's the kind of task that someone like Rogers would write or a choreographer would have to deal with with someone like Mr. Rogers, like

Speaker 1 working with a dance arranger now, because most composers do not, you know, write, dance their dance arrangements, they take the the melody and they they branch off to what is needed for the scene, for the for the steps. I can't imagine Richard Rodgers not understanding this process at all. And it probably he he had an instinctive Lee. I lost my train of thought. I'm sorry.

Speaker 2 I think you were heading towards that was very good, was that he didn't use dance arranger's, did he know? So that I think contrast that, Richard, today, they, you know, just give a melody and dance range because it makes the dancers. But Richard didn't do that. I think he actually did. I mean, I just don't want to leave.

Speaker 1 I don't know an accurate path.

Speaker 2 But I think the point is that the the melodies were so strong that a dance arranger and a choreographer could sort of had much more to work with. I think Agnes, when she did Oklahoma, sort of went, I want to do this in this and this second. Great. And she had the building blocks because she didn't have the coast. So we could saying really shouldn't have to coax Melody out of an arrangement. They were there. The themes were there. Like you said, they were so strong that a choreographer could just play. It wasn't it wasn't a struggle with Roger stuff. So I don't know if that's. Can you. Can we talk about that?

Speaker 1 Oh, my God. I'm getting tired.

Speaker 2 We're almost done.

Speaker 1 Well, can I can I use some of your stuff?

Speaker 2 Just don't mention it.

Speaker 1 So shall I go back and and talk about. Nowadays we we have dance arrangers. And when the dance arranger and the choreographer get into a room, he usually takes the melody and he runs away with it. And whatever the choreographer needs, he adjusts and and we as choreographers, we adjust and and we add drum beats and and whatever we need. And I think Mr. Rogers had such strong melodies and themes that that was not necessary because everything was there already. And and you didn't need to to go away from the theme at all.

Speaker 2 Excellent. Thank you.

Speaker 1 Thank you. Is it is.

Speaker 2 Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 That was a hard one, Larry.

Speaker 2 I know that if you know that Richard Rodgers didn't do research on the music of any of these places that they were. Are you

Speaker 1 really. Wow. Did not know

Speaker 2 that. And so but I'm. But you say it's also so vague. Oh, yeah. Tell me what you feel like. His work, you know, three shows with Asian culture. Did he help Asian culture or did he hurt Asian culture? Did he make you know or was it just simply too simplistic? Didn't help Asian talk about that. Puts it exploitive.

Speaker 1 I think there are two schools of thought here are being an Asian and being in those shows, I didn't feel exploited at all. I welcomed it, but I am sure there are those who feel as though we were exploited and and it didn't help because it wasn't really the the real point of view of of how Asians felt.

Speaker 2 What do you think, uh, the legacy of Richard Rodgers is, why should we remember of him in 50 years? One hundred years? What's going to be left?

Speaker 1 Help me, Larry.

Speaker 2 You know, uh, what do you think? If you listen, you listen. You've known her every score on Broadway since 1950.

Speaker 1 Yeah.

Speaker 2 So what about his scores are different? Let me ask you a different way, because maybe that's too bad. Close your eyes for a second, OK? Think of every score you've heard, every time you've been in in, uh, sitting in the house or doing a play. And tell me what Richard Rodgers music means to you today.

Speaker 1 Which is Rogers music. It breathe life into my soul. That said, he breathes life into my soul.

Speaker 2 One quick follow up. Yeah, sure, I would love if you could just tell it, because you don't want to do a lot of narration, you don't have to. But the story of a small house of Uncle Thomas, just in terms of that, that extra fee, if you could just like just tell us again, like you were telling somebody what happens in the show, what happens in that number and the Uncle Tom's Cabin part of it. I mean, if someone never heard of that number that it seems to me that the way that they take that novel and turn it into something Asian and what Robins did with that would be OK, would just be a great little mom,

Speaker 1 a small house of Uncle Thomas. Uncle Thomas, I'd better say. Oh, boy. The small house of Uncle Thomas was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. What? That's how they say it in the show. And they took the novel and it's about a runaway slave. And they turned it into and an Asian theme where Eliza runs away from Simon Legree. And it once again, the storytelling and the dance and the combination of of the two has really helped me in my my choreographing and making sure that I really tell the story.

Speaker 2 What happens?

Speaker 1 Eliza runs away. And because Simon is so, so mean to her and she takes her little son George with her George and on the way she meets different obstacles. And one is that Budha makes a miracle and he the snow comes down and the snow turns to ice. And then she meets George and they skate across to the other side. And then, of course, the ice melts and Simon is on the other side and he is drowned in the river and she runs away with George.

Baayork Lee
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-s756d5q46r, cpb-aacip-504-7p8tb0zb19
"Baayork Lee, Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 17 Jan. 2001,
(2001, January 17). Baayork Lee, Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Baayork Lee, Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). January 17, 2001. Accessed May 20, 2022


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