Osnes Will Return to Broadway's South Pacific; O'Hara to Depart Jan. 3, 2010

By Adam Hetrick
17 Dec 2009

Laura Osnes in South Pacific
Laura Osnes in South Pacific
Photo by Joan Marcus

Laura Osnes will succeed Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific on Jan. 5, 2010.

Osnes (Grease, Bonnie & Clyde) previously filled in for O'Hara during her maternity leave from the Tony-winning revival earlier this year. O'Hara's final performance will be Jan. 3, 2010, according to a representative for the production.

Tony Award winner Paulo Szot has not determined the date of his final performance as Emile de Becque, however, the baritone is confirmed to star in a new production of the Dmitri Shostakovich opera The Nose, which will begin performances March 5, 2010, at the Met.

David Pittsinger, who has covered for Szot during his previous opera commitments, reveals on his website that he will appear in the New York production of South Pacific Feb. 2-March 21, 2010. An official announcement has not been made.

Laura Osnes made her Broadway debut as Sandy in the 2007 revival of Grease following a talent search on the reality-television competition "Grease: You're The One That I Want." She was also seen in the La Jolla world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde and the new musical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

South Pacific also features Danny Burstein as Luther Billis, Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary, Andrew Samonsky as Lt. Joe Cable, Eric Anderson, Sean Cullen, Christian Delcroix, Murphy Guyer, Luka Kain, Li Jun Li, Laurissa Romain and Michael Arnold, Becca Ayers, Craig Bennett, Wendi Bergamini, Charlie Brady, Christian Carter, Todd Cerveris, Helmar Augustus Cooper, Margot de la Barre, Laura Marie Duncan, Rob Gallagher, Maryann Hu, Robert Lenzi, Deborah Lew, Peter Lockyer, Garrett Long, Nick Mayo, Liz McCartney, George Merrick, William Michals, Marla Mindelle, Kimber Monroe, Alfie Parker Jr., George Psomas, Greg Roderick, Jason Michael Snow, Jerold E. Solomon and Correy West.


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 na´ve 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.

Tickets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific are available at the Vivian Beaumont box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge or by visiting LCT.