South Pacific premiered April 7, 1949, to critical and popular acclaim. In his New York Times review, Brooks Atkinson called it "a magnificent musical drama...as lively, warm, fresh, and beautiful as we had all hoped that it would be."
In 1950, the production won each of its 10 Tony nominations. South Pacific holds the distinction of being the only musical in Tony Award history to dominate all four acting categories: Mary Martin (as Nellie Forbush), Ezio Pinza (Emile De Becque), Juanita Hall (Bloody Mary) and Myron McCormick (Luther Billis).
The production also received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the second musical to claim the honor. The smash hit went on to play a 1,925-performance run of nearly five years.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.