Lyric Stage concluded its 22nd season with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical SOUTH PACIFIC June 12-21, 2015.
Performances were June 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 @ 8:00 PM and June 14 & 21 @ 2:30 PM in the Irving Arts Center’s Carpenter Performance Hall.
SOUTH PACIFIC has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. SOUTH PACIFIC is adapted from James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Tales of the South Pacific.
In September of 2007, Lyric Stage produced Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL with a full 40 piece orchestra playing the original Broadway orchestrations. Productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I, OKLAHOMA! and THE SOUND OF MUSIC featuring full orchestras playing the original Broadway orchestrations followed. Lyric Stage concluded its productions of the “big five” Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals with SOUTH PACIFIC June 12-21, 2015. “The feeling is bittersweet,” says Lyric Stage Founding Producer Steven Jones. “After SOUTH PACIFIC, Lyric Stage will have been fortunate to produce all five of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s major musicals with full orchestras playing the original orchestrations – the way they wanted audiences to experience their shows. With SOUTH PACIFIC we will complete a major chapter in Lyric Stage’s mission of preserving the American musical.”
Lyric Stage Music Director Jay Dias conducted the 38 piece Lyric Stage orchestra playing Robert Russell Bennett’s original Broadway orchestrations. Len Pfluger directed and choreographed the production. Scenic design was by Tony Award winner Michael Yeargan, costume design was by Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design was by Julie Simmons and sound design was by Bill Eickenloff. Production stage manager was Margaret J. Soch.
Fresh from her triumph as Liza Elliott in Lyric Stage’s LADY IN THE DARK, Janelle Lutz starred as Nellie Forbush opposite Christopher Sanders in his Lyric Stage debut as Emile De Becque. Anthony Fortino was Lt. Joe Cable, Sally Soldo was Bloody Mary, Sonny Franks was Luther Billis and Doug Jackson was Captain Brackett. The cast included Kylie Arnold, Mark Blowers, Carlee Cagle, Caroline Carden, Alexandra Cassens, Andrea Cox, Alexander C. Ferguson, Conor Guzman, Alex Heika, Kyle Hughes, Preston Isham, Joshua Kumler, Emma Le, Samantha McHenry, Michael McMillan, Kyle Montgomery, Katreeva Phillips, Chris Ramirez, Jackie Raye, Michael Russell, Drew Shafranek, Stephanie Toups, Parker Weathersbee and John Wenzel.
Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he’s fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.