Tony Winner Szot to Return to Broadway's South Pacific March 31; Michals to Sub in April and June
By Andrew Gans
Tony Award winner Paulo Szot will return to the role of Emile de Becque in Lincoln Center Theater's Tony-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific March 31 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Szot had been on leave to star in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Shostakovich's The Nose. He won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards for his performance in South Pacific.
Szot will also be away from the LCT production in April and June. During the week of April 13 and the period June 1-July 4, the role of Emile de Becque will be played by William Michals, who has been understudying the role since the show opened.
Directed by Barlett Sher, the cast also features Laura Osnes as Ensign Nellie Forbush with 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, Charlie Brady, Christian Carter, Todd Cerveris, Helmar Augustus Cooper, Margot de la Barre, Laura Marie Duncan, Julie Foldesi, Rob Gallagher, Maryann Hu, Robert Lenzi, Deborah Lew, Peter Lockyer, Garrett Long, Nick Mayo, Liz McCartney, George Merrick, Marla Mindelle, Kimber Monroe, Alfie Parker Jr., George Psomas, Greg Roderick, Jason Michael Snow, Jerold E. Solomon and Correy West.
As previously announced, the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific will play its final performance at the Vivian Beaumont Theater Aug. 22. When it closes, the acclaimed production will have played 37 previews and 1,000 regular performances.
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 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 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.
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