New production marks the first Broadway Revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning musical since its 1949 premiere
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC swept the 2008 Tony Awards winning 7 awards including Best Musical Revival as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award for Best Musical Revival. Bay Area native Bartlett Sher directs South Pacific, which is produced by Lincoln Center Theater in association with Bob Boyett and NETworks Productions, and is presented as the final production of the 2008-2009 Best of Broadway series season under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays. This San Francisco engagement will be the launch of the show’s National Touring Company is led by Rod Gilfry (Emile de Becque) and Carmen Cusack (Nellie Forbush), with Anderson Davis (Lt. Cable), Matthew Saldivar (Luther Billis), Keala Settle (Bloody Mary), Gerry Becker (Capt. Brackett), Peter Rini (Cmdr. Harbison), Sumie Maeda (Liat), Rusty Ross (Professor), original 2008 Broadway cast member Genson Blimline (Stewpot), Christina Carrera (Ngana) and CJ Palma (Jerome).
Carmen Cusack (Nellie) and Rod Gilfry (Emile). Photo, Peter Coombs
The ensemble will include Christopher Carl, Eric L. Christian (from the Broadway production), Jacqueline Colmer, Mike Evairste (from the Broadway production), Kate Fahrner, Nicholas Galbraith, Alexis G.B. Holt, Chad Jennings, Christopher Johnstone, Kristie Kerwin, Jodi Kimura, Joe Langworth, Maxine Linehan, Diane Phelan, John Pinto Jr, Travis Robertson, Josh Rouah, Tally Sessions, Kristen J. Smith, Matt Stokes, Gregory Williams and Victor Wisehart. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC swept the 2008 Tony Awards, winning seven honors including Best Musical Revival and Best Director for Bartlett Sher, a Bay Area native. This breathtaking new production is still selling-out at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in an open-ended run on Broadway.
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 and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the musical tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples – US Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French plantation owner Emile de Becque and Navy Airman Joe Cable and a young local native girl Liat – and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Considered by many the finest musical ever written, the score’s songs include such classics as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “Bali Ha’i,” “There is Nothin’ Like A Dame,” “This Nearly Was Mine” and “A Wonderful Guy.”
Keala Settle (Bloody Mary) – “Bloody Mary is the girl I love”
The lavish new production features a cast of 40 with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan (winner of the 2008 Tony Award, costumes by Catherine Zuber (winner of the 2008 Tony Award), lighting by Donald Holder (winner of the 2008 Tony Award), sound by Scott Lehrer (winner of the 2008 Tony Award) and music direction by Ted Sperling. A full orchestra will perform the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett (winner of a Special 2008 Tony Award) and dance and incidental music arranged by Trude Rittmann.
Bay Area native, Bartlett Sher (Director) will come home to San Francisco, where he recently directed the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The Light in the Piazza as part of the SHN Best of Broadway 2006-2007 Season. Mr. Sher has an ongoing relationship with the Lincoln Center Theater where he directed the Tony Award winning production of the Craig Lucas-Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza and the Tony Award winning Best Revival of the Clifford Odets’ classic Awake and Sing!, earning Tony Award nominations as Best Director for both productions. Last season he directed a critically acclaimed new production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the Metropolitan Opera, which has just returned to the MET’s repertory. The Artistic Director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre, his other New York credits include the Theatre for A New Audiences productions of Waste, Cymbeline (the first American Shakespeare production presented in London by the RSC for which he received the 2001 Callaway Award for Best Direction as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations), Don Juan and Pericles.
BARTLETT SHER, Director
CARMEN CUSACK and ROD GILFRY
Rod Gilfry (Emile) is a Grammy-nominated opera singer who has performed in all the world’s music capitals, including Vienna, Paris, London, Munich, Zurich, Milan, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His discography includes 23 audio and video recordings. Credits include: Stanley Kowalski, André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (San Francisco Opera); Lionel, Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc (San Francisco Opera); Prospero, Thomas Ades’ The Tempest (Santa Fe Opera); Nathan, Nicholas Maw’s Sophie’s Choice (Washington D.C.); De Guiche, Alfano’s Cyrano (Valencia, Spain, opposite Placido Domingo); Count Danilo, Lehar’s The Merry Widow (Los Angeles Opera); Joe, Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella and Lancelot, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot (both at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago).
Carmen Cusack is an actress and singer whose career spans two continents. Her credits include The Phantom of the Opera (Christine), Les Misérables (Fantine) and Wicked (Elphaba) as well as numerous concerts, recordings and cabarets. Original London West End casts of The Secret Garden and Personals.
Click on the titles to get ready for SOUTH PACIFIC:
TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC – Winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Enter the exotic world of the South Pacific, meet the men and women caught up in the drama of a big war. The young Marine who falls madly in love with a beautiful Tonkinese girl. Nurse Nellie and her French planter, Emile De Becque. The soldiers, sailors, and nurses playing at war and waiting for love in a tropic paradise. Mass market paperback: 384 pages.
SOUTH PACIFIC – CD, Original Broadway Cast, with Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza.
Download Carmen Milagro’s BlogTalkRadio and her recent interview with Seán Martinfield. It’s all about singing and the 2009/10 San Francisco Opera Season:
Women and Legends Who Really Rock, 9/11/2009
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.
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