Get High!

I love the theatre and have been attending Broadway plays for decades—I’m partial to musicals—and can name a string of favorites; but last weekend I was  “blown away,” as a certain generation might phrase it, during a performance of “South Pacific” at the Lincoln Center Theatre. (It so happens that 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the show’s stage debut with Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza. The current presentation is—surprise—the first Broadway revival.)

Based on James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Tales of the South Pacific, this production is electrifying in every sense. Indeed, as Ben Brantley noted in The New York Times shortly after its opening, there is a palpable “chemistry between the show [and its actors] and the audience.” No wonder it garnered seven Tony awards last year, including one for best actor (Paulo Szot, as Emile de Becque), best director (Bartlett Sher) and best musical revival. The role of Ensign Nellie Forbush, played until recently by Kelli O’Hara, who is on maternity leave, is now owned by the brilliant and buoyant Laura Osnes. The Rodgers & Hammerstein unforgettable and sublime score, the classic story, the sustained energy of every performer (a cast of 40), the voices—Oh, God, the voices—lift you from your seat (and I was in the front row of the orchestra!) and transport you to a paradise island during wartime. 

Advertisement

I haven’t stopped talking about this show for days and am encouraging friends and neighbors to see it for themselves. There are not many shows we can describe as perfect, and I’ve been known to pick a few nits, but this is one. Simply put, it is the best theatrical experience I’ve ever had. If you can get to New York, “South Pacific” ought to be on your must-see list. You’re guaranteed Some Enchanted Evening.

Patricia A. Kossmann

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 4 months ago
I agree the South Pacific revival was wonderful (I saw it before Kelli O'Hara went on maternity leave) but you must see the new musical "Next to Normal!" It will blow you away far more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

25,000 children and pilgrim sang the pope “Happy Birthday" today in St. Peter’s Square.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 17, 2017
A reflection for the third Sunday of Advent
Elizabeth Kirkland CahillDecember 16, 2017
Homeless people are seen in Washington June 22. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chair of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee, released a statement Nov. 17 proclaiming that the House of Representatives "ignored impacts to the poor and families" in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the previous day. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
The United States is thwarting the advancement of millions of its citizens, a UN rapporteur says.
Kevin ClarkeDecember 16, 2017
Why not tax individuals for what they take out of society instead of what they contribute?
Paul D. McNelis, S.J.December 15, 2017