Posted by: Staff | 05.17.2010

Setting Sail With South Pacific

CARLI JAFF ’12

The Beaver Arts Department has put on some amazing musicals throughout the years.  This year, the Spring Musical is South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein.  The show is set on two islands in the South Pacific during World War II.  Based on the book Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener, the show intertwines characters and plot lines from several of its tales into one beautiful and romantic story.

South Pacific is mainly a love story between two characters: Nellie Forbush (Chloe Kunstler ’11) and Emile de Becque (Willy Tucker ’10).  However, it also includes many other plot lines, including the story about Bloody Mary (Jasmine Houston ’11) and her search for wealth as well as a husband for her daughter, Liat (Jordan Tucker ’12). Bloody Mary meets Lieutenant Joe Cable (Elias Duncan ’13), and tries to convince him to marry Liat.

Besides the romantic aspect of South Pacific, there are also the issues of gender roles and racial prejudice in the South Pacific.  On the island where the majority of the show is set, there are American sailors who are led by Major Luther Billis (Josh Bourdeau ’10), which is one of the lowest ranks in the army.  These men are not allowed to have relationships with women, nor are they allowed to go over to the beautiful island of Bali Ha’i to meet women.  The sailors are incredibly bored because they have nothing to do except fight with each other, lift weights, and complain about how they cannot date women.  When all of these stories are put together, the show is incredibly entertaining and will keep the audience on their toes the entire time.

Some popular and well-known songs in South Pacific are “Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, “Bali Ha’i”,  and “I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy”.  When South Pacific was on Broadway, it was Tony-nominated for ten different awards and won each of them including Best Musical and Best Score.  This is the only show ever to win all four Tony Awards for acting.  This show was also a movie and a box-office hit; it has had many revivals since its start in 1958 and continues to be one of the most-seen shows in the country.

South Pacific will be showing at Beaver on May 20th, 21st, and 22nd in Bradley Hall.  Please come and support the Beaver Arts Department and all of your friends who are participating in the show. Enjoy!

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