Friday, September 3, 2010
A trip to South Pacific
I know most of the words to the score by heart, too. When we first started going out we'd play the vinyl of the film musical quite a bit.
We dragged Alex along to see the play because we thought he'd enjoy the production, and he did. But he didn't recognize a single song - not even (gasp) - "Some Enchanted Evening...."
The cast of 34 players, orchestra of 26 musicians and expert stage design easily lend themselves to the phrase "lavish production".
Sixty years young, these stories have been winning awards since they were first told. James Michener won the Pulitzer for Tales of the South Pacific, a collection of related short stories published in '47, on which Rodgers and Hammerstein based their musical. That production then launched in '49 to critical acclaim and won its own awards. The Toronto version we saw was true to the recent Broadway revival that garnered so much attention. There is historical context that might seem to 'date' the production but the story is timeless: passion, war, prejudice, love.
Tony nominees performed this medley at the 2008 awards show. Sing along!