Director Bartlett Sher earned a Tony Award for his expansive staging of the World War II-era musical, which began performances March 1, 2008 and opened to critical acclaim April 3, 2008. The musical begins its national tour at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre in September.
South Pacific currently stars Tony Award winner Paulo Szot as Emile de Becque opposite Laura Osnes (Grease, Pride and Prejudice) as Ensign Nellie Forbush. The production also features Tony nominee Danny Burstein as Luther Billis, Tony nominee Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary and Andrew Samonsky as Lt. Joe Cable.
Completing the cast are Eric Anderson, Matt Caplan, Sean Cullen, Murphy Guyer, Luka Kain, Li Jun Li, Laurissa Romain and Michael Arnold, Criag Bennett, Wendy Bergamini, Genson Blimline, Charlie Brady, Christian Carter, Eric L. Christian, Helmar Augustus Cooper, Margot de la Barre, Christian Delcroix, Laura Marie Duncan, Mike Evariste, Julie Foldesi, Rob Gallagher, Maryann Hu, Robert Lenzi, Deborah Lew, Nick Mayo, George Merrick, William Michals, Marla Mindelle, Kimber Monroe, George Psomas, Greg Roderick and Jerold E. Solomon.
Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on a 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.
South Pacific earned seven 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Costumes, Best Lighting, Best Sound and Best Actor for Szot. The Lincoln Center Theater production has musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Scott Lehrer. South Pacific boasts a 30-piece orchestra performing the musical's original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arrangements by Trude Rittmann.
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.