Mu Performing Arts dusts off a seminal Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (with a hefty assist from a new, and witty, book by David Henry Hwang) to open up a lively time tunnel looking backward and forward at the Asian American experience. Our story tracks Mei-Li (Sara Ochs), a girl who flees Maoist China for San Francisco, where she lands at a theater embroiled in a father-son creative dispute: stage classical Chinese operas for scant audiences, or get with the times and churn up some happening nightclub numbers (guess who wins)? Randy Reyes and Sherwin Resurreccion lead a sharp, nimble cast, and Rick Shiomi's direction extracts the intelligence of the original source with an awareness of how it's aged. The result is entertaining, and moving, and almost assuredly the only place this year you'll see dancing girls dressed in giant Chinese takeout boxes (I'm going out on a limb here, until someone proves me wrong).
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 27. Continues through July 12, 2009