The Flower of Hawaii

Paul Abrahám’s jazz operetta

Directed by Amy Hutchison   Conducted by Anthony Barrese

The show will be sung in English.

The show will feature a 21-piece orchestra.

All performers are paid. No housing is provided.


To submit for an audition, fill in the form at the bottom of this page. 


February 25 from 7-10 PM

February 26 from 7-10 PM

March 4 from 7-10 PM


Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 744 Fair Oaks Ave, Oak Park, IL


What To Sing/perform: 

Sing aria from opera or operetta and one 32 bar musical theater selection or two 32 bar musical theater selections of contrasting styles, which show full range and acting ability. At least one selection must be in English. Seeking musical theater performers, opera singers and dancers. An accompanist will be provided. The singer must also prepare a one minute memorized comic monologue. (no exceptions and no selections from An Ideal Husband)

What to bring: 

1) 2 resumes with most recent experience.

2) An 8×10 headshot. 

3) Music and monologue.  

4) Your personal calendar with lists of conflicts. (This is very important)

As part of our Reclaimed Voices series, Folks Operetta is presenting the American premiere of Paul Abrahám’s exotic jazz operetta, The Flower of Hawaii. Tinged with American jazz and Hawaiian guitar, Abrahám’s captivating score will take you back to the golden era of Hollywood musicals.

One of the brightest stars of the Weimar era, Abrahám was the composer of three hit operettas between 1929 and 1932, as well as film scores and popular song. Jazz was all the rage, and Abrahám’s brilliant use of its catchy melodies and infectious rhythms, along with tap dancing and other typically American idioms, would breathe new life into operetta. Abrahám had a fresh, unique style and was considered the “successor to Lehar” before political events in Europe changed the course of his life.

In 1933 he was forced to flee Germany overnight after the Nazis seized power. He left behind a safe full of manuscripts that his butler promptly sold to Nazi music publishers. The songs were published and performed under different names and Abrahám was never credited for them. Abrahám spent the next five years in Vienna and Budapest, but by 1938, the situation for a Jewish composer was untenable in those cities as well. He left Europe altogether, eventually landing in New York. Although he was now physically safe, Abrahám was assailed by a new adversary, mental illness. He spent 10 years in the Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital.

Abrahám wrote the operetta in 1931 with the Jewish librettists Alfred Grünwald and Fritz Löhner-Beda, both of whom had penned successful shows with Franz Lehár and Emmerich Kálmán. The show premiered later that year in Leipzig, Germany. The original cast featured the Hungarian Jewish operetta stars Rosy Barsony and Oskár Denes and made them stars overnight. Like Abrahám, Grünwald escaped to the United States. Barsony and Denes survived the war in hiding. Löhner-Beda was killed at Auschwitz.

Inspired by the story of Princess Ka’iulani, The Flower of Hawaiitakes aim at American colonialism, but never takes on that subject too deeply. In the end, it is meant to be escapist entertainment. The libretto features multiple love stories. Laya, a Hawaiian princess, must choose between the American naval officer she loves and the Hawaiian prince to whom she was betrothed as a child. Meanwhile, no less than three other couples must find their way through various romantic complications before all of them arrive at Happily Ever After.

Show runs June 29 to July 14,  2019

 STAGE 773 Theater in Chicago.


 Folks Operetta is a 501(c)3 non-profit theater company and an equal opportunity employer.  AGMA  card holders submit release forms to participate in our productions. Equity members welcome.