O'Hara Will Return to South Pacific in Time for "Live from Lincoln Center" PBS Broadcast

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01 Jun 2010

<I>South Pacific</I> star Kelli O'Hara
South Pacific star Kelli O'Hara
Photo by Joan Marcus

PBS will capture the sprawling the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific Aug. 18 for broadcast on "Live from Lincoln Center." Three-time Tony Award-nominated actress Kelli O'Hara will return to the production earlier that month.

O'Hara, who earned her third Tony nomination for originating the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush in the revival, departed South Pacific Jan. 3, 2010. She will return Aug. 10 and continue with South Pacific through its Aug. 22 closing performance. O'Hara will again appear opposite her Tony Award-winning South Pacific co-star, Paulo Szot, who stars as Emile de Becque.

The Tony Award-winning revival, staged on the expansive Beaumont thrust by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, will be broadcast live on PBS at 8 PM ET Aug. 18.

South Pacific is the second LCT production staged by Sher at the Beaumont to be broadcast nationwide by PBS. "Live from Lincoln Center" also broadcast the Tony Award-winning Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza in 2006.

Sher previously told Playbill.com, "It's the only place where you can make a movie and a play at the same time," when speaking of staging South Pacific at the Beaumont. Five days prior to the closing of the record-breaking revival, which opened to raves April 3, 2008, Sher's words will come full circle.



Tony Award-winning designer Michael Yeargan created the scenic designs for the revival, which utilizes a retractable stage to reveal a full 30-piece orchestra. The visuals also boast palm trees, endless beaches and a 1940's bomber plane.

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.