A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
South Pacific
a Musical
by Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers, Joshua Logan

COMPANY : Broadway Across America [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Fabulous Fox [WEBSITE]
ID# 3699

SHOWING : April 06, 2010 - April 11, 2010



“Four stars! GORGEOUS! SOUTH PACIFIC DOESN’T JUST FLOAT; IT SOARS!” – Elysa Gardner, USA Today “I know we’re not supposed to expect perfection in this imperfect world, but I’m darned if I can find one serious flaw in this production.” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“A SHOW YOU WILL REMEMBER FOREVER!” – Michael Sommers, Star-Ledger

“Simply Wonderful! Beguiling Theatrical Magic!” hails the New York Post for the breathtaking new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC. A stunning reinvention produced by Lincoln Center Theater, SOUTH PACIFIC swept the 2008 Tony® Awards, winning seven honors including Best Musical Revival and Best Director for Bartlett Sher. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the musical tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. The beloved score’s songs include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “This Nearly Was Mine” and “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” USA Today cheers, “★★★★! Gorgeous! SOUTH PACIFIC doesn’t just float; it soars!”

Based on James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Tales of the South Pacific, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan and is directed by 2008 Tony® Award-winner Bartlett Sher.

Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


by playgoer
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Telsey+Company has done a singularly poor job of casting the tour of the recent revival of "South Pacific." Carmen Cusack is wonderful as Nellie Forbush in her blonde wigs (one before & during the "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" shampoo sequence, one after), even though she has indicated in interviews that she never considered her dark-haired "European" looks right for the role. All the other lead actors (save Sumie Maeda, in the non-speaking role of Liat) have found it impossible to alter their looks to be appropriate for their roles.

Rod Gilfry, as Emile de Becque, has a glorious operatic baritone voice and a very nice French accent, but he looks like an overaged, preppy American. His shiny forehead and carefully mussed, moussed hair, along with his period-less costumes, make it appear that he has walked off the street into the role. He has none of the sultry, dark looks that work best in the role.

Keala Settle, as Bloody Mary, appears decades too young for her role. A shuffling walk gives her a bit of age, but the heavy makeup she wears is grotesque to look at. The choice of brown hair for her is puzzling, too, for it may blend in with her own pulled-up hair, but doesn't look Tonkinese in the least.

Matthew Saldivar, as Luther Billis, has a waxed mustache and a modern, street-wise demeanor. His buff body blends in with the rest of the cookie-cutter hunk Seabees. These eye-candy sailors also detract from Anderson Davis, as Joe Cable. Upon his entrance, Bloody Mary immediately zeroes in on him as a "sexy fella." In this crew, his looks do not make him stand out. He actually looks less attractive than most of the men onstage (moving to equally attractive when he removes his shirt). Having a couple of sailors present naked backsides to the audience when exiting showers just adds to the impression that male casting has been focused on audience titillation.

Female ensemble casting, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have been based on much more than the ability to tap dance or dance en pointe. Cathy Newman, as lead nurse Genevieve Marshall, can't do either of these, and so makes no positive impression at all. That some of the women are saddled with misshapen wig hair doesn't help.

Casting is the poorest point in this production. Direction is top-notch, with pauses and emphases in dialogue pointing up many unexpected laughs that immediately endear Nellie to the audience. The pace of the show is terrific too, with no stops at all for scene changes. Movement flows smoothly as panels of shutters rise and lower in front of a fixed background of a bleak sand dune with palm tree and a backdrop of Bali Ha'i.

Lighting is fairly distracting in the show. Musical numbers too often cause a lowering of the overall stage lights, while spotlights focus on the principals, in a pretty traditional manner. The song "Bali Ha'i" has the most distracting lighting, though. The island of Bali Ha'i is barely distinguishable among the clouds in the backdrop until magenta lighting highlights it at various points in the musical number. It's too similar to the movie's much-ridiculed changes of lighting color to establish mood.

One other "retro" aspect of this production that works gloriously well is the full-sized orchestra using the original orchestrations. The sound is spectacular from the first notes of the overture. Sound balance is generally good, although Rod Gilfry's trained operatic projection tends to overwhelm it, while Keala Settle's heavily-accented pidgen English tends to lack vocal power.

The reasons to see this production are the sparkling direction and Carmen Cusack's performance. The material is so strong that any competent cast can make "South Pacific" an enjoyable experience. Add good-or-better voices and a full orchestra and the aural delights exceed the visual delights. The sets of "South Pacific" tend toward the blandly elegant -- think of an upscale, tropical-themed hotel. No splashes of jungle-bright colors give a sense of the riotous sensuality of a tropical paradise. Let the music wash over you, though, and you're transported into the atmosphere Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers, and Joshua Logan envisioned over 60 years ago. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


BattleActs! January 2019 Edition!
Laughing Matters
The Last Night of Ballyhoo
by Alfred Uhry
Stage Door Players
BattleActs! January 2019 Edition!
Laughing Matters
Every Brilliant Thing
by Duncan McMillan with Jonny Donahoe
Staged Right Theatre
FEM. The One WoMan Show
by Erik Dillard
Good Acting Studio
A Doll’s House Part 2
by Lucas Hnath
Aurora Theatre
BattleActs! January 2019 Edition!
Laughing Matters
Blues for an Alabama Sky
by Pearl Cleage
Live Arts Theatre
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Every Brilliant Thing
by Duncan McMillan with Jonny Donahoe
Staged Right Theatre
FEM. The One WoMan Show
by Erik Dillard
Good Acting Studio
Gimme Liberty or Gimme Death, A Hamiltonesque Mystery
by John Babcock
Agathas: A Taste of Mystery
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
by Allison Gregory
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
The Odd Couple
by Neil Simon
Players Guild @ Sugar Hill

©2012 All rights reserved.