Happy Talk: Hawaii's Loretta Ables Sayre Is Bloody Mary for South Pacific Revival

News   Happy Talk: Hawaii's Loretta Ables Sayre Is Bloody Mary for South Pacific Revival Acclaimed Hawaiian actress and chanteuse Loretta Ables Sayre will transport New York audiences to "Bali H'ai" this spring as Bloody Mary in the Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific.
Loretta Ables Sayre
Loretta Ables Sayre

The actress, according to a production spokesperson, will join the previously announced Kelli O'Hara (as nurse Nellie Forbush) and renowned baritone Paulo Szot (as plantation owner Emile de Becque) in the first Broadway revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic since the musical's 1949 debut.

Sayre is a prominent Hawaiian entertainer, who has performed at the Halekulani and Kahala Mandarin Oriental hotels, as well as in You Somebody at Hawaii's Diamond Head Theatre. Her credits also include Effie White in the Hawaii mounting of Dreamgirls. As a musician, Sayre has opened for the Beach Boys, Kenny Loggins, James Brown and the Four Tops. South Pacific will mark her New York and Broadway debuts.

Additional casting will be announced shortly.

With a score by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, who penned the book with Joshua Logan, South Pacific will feature sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and musical direction by Ted Sperling.

Performances begin on the Vivian Beaumont Stage March 1, 2008, with an official opening set for April 3. Based on James Michener's collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on a French planter, Emile de Becque and his love interest, Nellie Forbush, a naïve young nurse from Arkansas. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, South Pacific offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes numerous American songbook classics, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Wonderful Guy," "Younger Than Springtime," "Happy Talk," Bali H'ai" and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." The original production featured Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza.