Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Will Broadway's First-Ever South Pacific Revival Provide Some Enchanted Evenings?

Will Broadway's First-Ever South Pacific Revival Provide Some Enchanted Evenings?

It's been over 52 years since Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's South Pacific last graced a Broadway stage and nearly 58 since it first opened. After that incredible run with 1925 performances, this World War II-vintage musical based on James Michener's "Tales Of The South Pacific" has never again landed again on a Great White Way stage.

But that will change in 2008 as Lincoln Center prepares to present the first-ever Broadway revival at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre with Bartlett Sher directing.

South Pacific was a controversial sensation when it first appeared in 1949, treating mix raced couplings with respect and dignity -- previously unheard of in a Broadway show. The tuner went on to win the Pulitzer Prize as well as ten Tony Awards, including for Best Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Mary Martin) and Best Actor in a Musical (Ezio Pinza).

The musical also has a special place in my heart -- it provided me with my only stage role when I took on the role of Lieutenant Joseph Cable in my high school production.

I'll certainly continue to report on the progress of this revival, including the casting, in the months ahead.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 20 December, 2006, Anonymous Esther Gross said...

I wonder why it hasn't been revived on Broadway before? Was it considered too dated?

I was a huge James Michener fan in high school. I used to love reading those long, sweeping historical novels, like Hawaii, Centennial, The Source.

I've never read Tales of the South Pacific, although I've always mean to, and I think it's pretty short by Michener standards.

I've never seen the movie either. But now that I know you were in a high school production of South Pacific, I have to watch it! It's going right to the top of my Netflix queue.

At 20 December, 2006, Blogger BroadwayBaby said...

There's an unconfirmed rumor that they're wooing Charles Aznavour to play Emile. He would be a great unconventional choice and he would make the show a big draw for foreign tourists (Aznavour is huge in Europe)

At 24 December, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Not really sure why it's never been revived previously on Broadway, Esther.

I've seen other fine revivals of the musical, and certainly the relatively recent one-time only production with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell, as well as the recent television movie with Glenn Close and Harry Connick, Jr. seemed to indicate that it remains timeless and much appreciated (although I also realize that one of my favorite bloggers thinks it's entirely overrated).

BroadwayBaby, I appreciate the early word on who may be playing Emile DeBeque.


At 27 December, 2006, Blogger BroadwayBaby said...

How about casting Mindy Cohn or Kim Fields as Nellie? (and I am sure you all remember that Facts of Life episode)


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