Monday, August 23, 2010

Some Enchanted Production

For those of us who are not night owls, the personal "off switch" means no intelligent activity beyond a certain time. For me, that time is around 10 P.M. A book, movie, or tv show has to be over-the-top compelling to keep me up much later than that.

The Lincoln Center Vivian Beaumont Theatre production of South Pacific is beyond compelling - what an awesome show!

I had fallen asleep watching Charlie Rose on Detroit PBS and awoke to singing. The singing turned out to be the Lincoln Center production on Live at Lincoln Center (Aug 18) and, always loving South Pacific, I just had to watch for a little while, which ended up being the whole show - final curtain at 1:30 A.M.(PDT).

The Rodgers and Hammerstein original Broadway production in 1949 won ten Tony Awards. Mary Martin and Enzo Pinza played the roles of Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque. The story is based on James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific.

Since then, there have been several famous productions around the world.

My introduction was to the 1958 movie, starring Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi as Nellie and Emile. Probably my favourite, because it was the first.

In 2001, a made-for-tv movie starred Glenn Close and Rade Serbedzija as Nellie and Emile. Reba McEntire, Alec Baldwin, and Brian Stokes Mitchell starred in a concert version at Lincoln Center in 2005.

There have been many other concerts/productions/ travelling shows worldwide. The famous score probably guarantees further productions, as does the subject.

It's hard for any book, movie, or stage production to "bump" a previous favourite, but this most recent Broadway revival at Lincoln Center (since 2008) has almost done it for me - at the very least, this production is tied for first place. Kelli O'Hara and Paulo Szot make a perfect Nellie and Emile.

Yesterday was the last performance of the Lincoln Center production, which has won seven Tonys. I am so glad to have seen this.

The video is a montage of the production.

(The above link to the Lincoln Center Vivian Beaumont Theatre has a link to re-broadcast schedules for PBS and to the schedule for the travelling version.)


cooper said...

I actually saw part of that the other night while writing a paper. It was much better than I supposed a current production of South Pacific would be.

ChrisJ said...


Exactly what I thought.

Ciss B said...

I love South Pacific! It has glorious music throughout a great storyline.

We saw the PBS version last night here, and the music gave me goose bumps! I enjoyed the stage version with Mary Martin when I was young. My mom loved Broadway show tunes so we always had those records.

I really think South Pacific is the best of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals.

ChrisJ said...


I agree - it's the best one. All of their others have some great songs, but in South Pacific, they are all great.

I'm glad you caught it - it was a real treat.

askcherlock said...

I love South Pacific! Thanks fr the wonderful video. Wonderful and classic music.

lifeshighway said...

Oh I love South Pacific and feel real a lose by not getting to see this.

Also I recognized Matthew Morrison from Glee.

ChrisJ said...


The video is only a little taste of the production. It was really good.

ChrisJ said...


The Live at Lincoln Center on the 18th had Andrew Samonsky, not Morrison as Lt Cable.

There is a re-broadcast schedule on the Lincoln Center link.

Judie said...

One of my all-time favorites. I would stay up until after 10 to see it! Since I usually am in bed by 9, that would be a real feat for me.

ChrisJ said...


I know - 1:30 is unheard of for me.