Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara and baritone Paulo Szot are the lovers who "meet across a crowded room" in the new Lincoln Center Theater production helmed by The Light in the Piazza's Tony-nominated director Bartlett Sher. Previews began March 1.
South Pacific boasts a 30-piece orchestra conducted by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling and an expansive set by Tony Award-winning designer Michael Yeargan that is replete with palm trees, endless beaches and a 1940's bomber plane.
O'Hara, last seen on the Beaumont stage in The Light in the Piazza, stars as nurse Nellie Forbush alongside Szot as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. O'Hara's former Light in the Piazza onstage love interest, Matthew Morrison, returns to Lincoln Center Theater in the role of Lt. Cable.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
South Pacific also features Danny Burstein as Luther Billis, Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary as well as Sean Cullen (as Cmdr. William Harbison), Victor Hawks (Stewpot), Luka Kain (Jerome), Li Jun Li (Liat), Laurissa Romain (Ngana), Skipp Sudduth (Captain George Brackett) and Noah Weisberg (Professor). The ensemble comprises Becca Ayers, Wendi Bergamini, Genson Blimline, Grady McLeod Bowman, Charlie Brady, Matt Caplan, Christian Carter, Helmar Augustus Cooper, Jeremy Davis, Margot de la Barre, Christian Delcroix, Laura Marie Duncan, Mike Evariste, Laura Griffith, Lisa Howard, Maryann Hu, Zachary James, Robert Lenzi, Garrett Long, Nick Mayo, George Merrick, William Michals, Kimber Monroe, Emily Morales, Darius Nichols, George Psomas, Andrew Samonsky and Jerold E. Solomon. The new Lincoln Center staging includes the song "My Girl Back Home." A duet between Lt. Cable and Nellie Forbush, the song was cut from the original Broadway production but reinstated for the 1958 film adaptation. The current production, which marks South Pacific's first Broadway revival since its 1949 stage debut, utilizes that song's original orchestrations.
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 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. The revival features the musical's original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arrangements by Trude Rittmann.
South Pacific's 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.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific are available at the Vivian Beaumont box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge.com or by visiting www.lct.org.