South Pacific Company Records CD April 14; Recording Due in May

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and Adam Hetrick
14 Apr 2008

The cast of the first Broadway revival of South Pacific — including two-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara and renowned baritone Paulo Szot — heads into the recording studio April 14 to preserve the classic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II score.

The cast of the musical, which recently opened to rave reviews at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, will record at New York's Legacy Recording Studios. The CD is due in stores May 27 on the Masterworks Broadway label, a division of Sony BMG.

David Caddick and David Lai are producing the recording of South Pacific. The musical officially opened at the Beaumont April 3.

O'Hara, last seen on the Beaumont stage in The Light in the Piazza, stars as nurse Nellie Forbush alongside Szot as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. Tony-nominated Light in the Piazza director Bartlett Sher directs the new production, which also features another Piazza alum, Matthew Morrison as Lt. Cable.

The South Pacific company also boasts 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 new Lincoln Center staging includes the song "My Girl Back Home." A duet between Lt. Cable and Nellie Forbush, the song was cut from the original Broadway production but reinstated for the 1958 film adaptation. The current production, which marks South Pacific's first Broadway revival since its 1949 stage debut, utilizes that song's original orchestrations.

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.

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.

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 Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge.com or by visiting www.lct.org.

For more information visit www.sonybmgmasterworks.com.