By Adam Hetrick
07 Mar 2008
The Tony-nominated director of LCT's The Light in the Piazza stages the first Broadway revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic since its 1949 Broadway premiere.
Sher received a 2006 Tony nomination for his direction of Awake and Sing!, as well as 2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his direction of The Light in the Piazza. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2006 with The Barber of Seville, and later this season he will direct the opera Roméo et Juliette for the Salzburg Festival. At Seattle's Intiman, he has directed the world premieres of Prayer for My Enemy and Singing Forest by Craig Lucas (both also at Long Wharf Theatre); Nickel and Dimed, Joan Holden's adaptation of the nonfiction bestseller by Barbara Ehrenreich; and plays by Chekhov, Wilder, Shakespeare, Goldoni and Tony Kushner. He received the Callaway Award for his production of Cymbeline, produced by Theatre for a New Audience, which was the first American Shakespeare invited to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," South Pacific 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, the musical offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.
Kelli O'Hara stars as nurse Nellie Forbush alongside Szot as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. Previews began March 1, with an official opening set for April 3.
South Pacific also features Matthew Morrison as Lt. Cable, 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 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. Musical director Ted Sperling conducts a 30-piece orchestra performing the musical's original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arrangements by Trude Rittmann.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific are available now at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge.com or by visiting www.lct.org.