Director Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Joe Turner's Come and Gone) earned his first Tony Award for his direction of the classic WWII musical that boasts a score by Rodgers and Hammerstein with a book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The San Francisco engagement runs through Oct. 25.
Grammy-nominated opera singer Rod Gilfry, who appeared as Lancelot in the recent Ravinia staging of Camelot, stars as Emile de Becque opposite Carmen Cusack (Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked) as Ensign Nellie Forbush.
Principal cast members also include Anderson Davis (Lt. Cable), Matthew Saldivar (Luther Billis), Keala Settle (Bloody Mary), Gerry Becker (Capt. Brackett), Peter Rini (Cmdr. Harbison), Sumie Maeda (Liat), Rusty Ross (Professor) and Genson Blimline (Stewpot).
The South Pacific ensemble features Christopher Carl, Eric L. Christian, Jacqueline Colmer, Mike Evariste, Kate Fahrner, Nicholas Galbraith, Chad Jennings, Christopher Johnstone, Kristie Kerwin, Jodi Kimura, Joe Langworth, Diane Phelan, John Pinto Jr, Travis Robertson, Josh Rouah, Kristen J. Smith, Matt Stokes, Gregory Williams and Victor J. Wisehart.
The revival of South Pacific began performances on Broadway March 1, 2008, and opened to critical acclaim April 3, 2008. Originally conceived for the thrust stage of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the touring production has been reconfigured for the proscenium stage. Similar to the Broadway production, which employs a 30-piece orchestra, the touring production features 26 musicians, 22 of whom travel with the production. South Pacific has musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Scott Lehrer. The new production also features original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arrangements by Trude Rittmann.
South Pacific earned seven 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Director, Best Scenic Design, Best Costumes, Best Lighting, Best Sound and Best Actor for its original star Paolo Szot.
Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on French plantation owner 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." South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for its Broadway debut in 1949. Kelli O'Hara and Paolo Szot opened the acclaimed 2008 Lincoln Center revival.
The tour schedule for South Pacific follows:
San Francisco, CA (Sept. 18-Oct. 25 at the Golden Gate Theatre)
Raleigh, NC (Nov. 2-8 at the Memorial Auditorium)
Charlotte, NC (Nov. 9-15 at the Belk)
Greenville, SC (Nov. 16-22 at the Peace Center)
Dallas, TX (Dec. 14-Jan. 3, 2010 at the Center for the Arts)
West Palm Beach, FL (Jan. 4-10, 2010 at the Kravis Center)
Tampa, FL (Jan. 11-17, 2010 at Tampa Bay PAC)
Melbourne, FL (Jan. 19-24, 2010 at the King Center)
Seattle, WA (Jan. 25-Feb. 21, 2010 at the 5th Avenue Theatre)
Lincoln, NE (Feb. 22-28, 2010 at the Lied Center)
San Antonio, TX (March 1-7, 2010 at the Majestic)
Houston, TX (March 8-21, 2010 at the Hobby Center)
Memphis, TN (March 22-28, 2010 at the Orpheum Theatre)
Fayetteville, AR (March 29-April 4, 2010 at the Walton Arts Center)
Atlanta, GA (April 5-11, 2010 at the Fox)
Schenectady, NY (April 12-18, 2010 at Proctors)
Hartford, CT (April 19-25, 2010 at the Bushnell)
East Lansing, MI (April 26-May 2, 2010 at the Wharton)
St. Paul, MN (May 3-16, 2010 at the Ordway)
Des Moines, IA (May 18-23, 2010 at the Civic Center)
Los Angeles, CA (May 24-July, 18, 2010 at the Ahmanson)
Denver, CO (July 20-Aug. 1 at the Denver Center)
For tickets visit SouthPacificonTour.