Kelli O'Hara Returns to South Pacific for Musical's Final Weeks Aug. 10

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10 Aug 2010

Paulo Szot and Kelli O'Hara
Paulo Szot and Kelli O'Hara
Photo by Joan Marcus

Three-time Tony Award-nominated actress Kelli O'Hara returns to the role of Nellie Forbush in the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific Aug. 10 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

O'Hara, who earned her third Tony nomination for her work in the acclaimed revival, departed the production in January. She returns to capture her performance on PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcast of the wartime musical on Aug. 18. The record-breaking revival will conclude its Broadway run Aug. 22.

O'Hara is reunited with her Tony Award-winning co-star Paulo Szot, who portrays French plantation owner Emile de Becque. The principal cast also includes Tony nominees Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary and Danny Burstein as Luther Billis. Andrew Samonsky plays Lt. Cable.

O'Hara was honored with Tony nominations for her work in the Tony-winning revivals of South Pacific, The Pajama Game and the Tony-winning musical The Light in the Piazza. On Broadway she has also appeared in Jekyll & Hyde, Follies, Sweet Smell of Success and Dracula, the Musical. Her album, "Wonder in the World," is currently available on the Ghostlight Records label.

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) helmed the production that opened April 3, 2008.



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.

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.

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 or by visiting LCT.