The national tour of South Pacific gains Tony Award-winner Gretha Boston as Bloody Mary Feb. 5, when the troupe begins performances in Nashville.
Boston won the Best Featured Actress (Musical) Tony for playing Queenie in the Harold Prince staging of Show Boat, and was Tony-nommed for It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, as well. Bloody Mary is the island native who sings of "Bali Ha'i," in South Pacific, the show that won Rodgers, Hammerstein and Josh Logan the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Tony Award-winner Robert Goulet will join the cast March 19, playing Emile de Becque, the French planter who falls for a U.S. Navy nurse in the South Pacific during World War II. Erin Dilly exits the role of Nellie March 17, the same day Michael Nouri ends his run as Emile. Casting is ongoing for the lead role of Nellie.
Armelia McQueen left the tour as Bloody Mary Feb. 3 in Austin, TX. Barry and Fran Weissler, producers known for snagging big stars for their musicals Chicago, Annie Get Your Gun and Seussical, netted Goulet, a big box office fish for the road. He's no stranger to the role, having sung "Some Enchanted Evening," "Twin Soliloquies" and "This Nearly Was Mine" on a smash North American tour beginning in 1987.
Goulet was the original Lancelot from Broadway's Camelot and won the Tony Award for the Kander and Ebb musical, The Happy Time. He also became a recording and nightclub star. In his later career, the suave baritone toured as Arthur in Camelot (which came to Broadway) and played the title role in a Man of La Mancha tour.
The new national tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific is produced by Barry and Fran Weissler in association with Clear Channel Entertainment. Jerry Zaks is the production supervisor and Scott Faris and Gary Chryst are the director and choreographer, respectively.
This production of South Pacific was originally produced by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, Minnesota, Kevin McCollum, President and CEO.
The show is booked at least to fall 2002.
— By Kenneth Jones