Archive for Sunday, October 20, 2002

Lied Broadway series to feature ‘South Pacific’

October 20, 2002


"South Pacific," a Rodger and Hammerstein classic, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lied Center.

The musical was an immediate hit on Broadway when it first opened in 1949, and a successful film version followed in 1958.

Adapted from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific," it combines passionate romance in a South Seas paradise with the realities of World War II.

The show features memorable songs such as "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" and "Bali Ha'i."

The story takes place on a small island in the South Pacific, where Nellie Forbush, a U.S. Navy nurse, falls for a mysterious French planter named Emile de Becque, a man whose lifestyle couldn't be more different from the conservatism of her own Arkansas background.

Meanwhile, Lt. Joe Cable arrives to carry out a top-secret plan to spy on the Japanese fleet from behind enemy lines. He is befriended by a Tonkinese trader, Bloody Mary, and soon becomes involved with her beautiful young daughter. Rodgers and Hammerstein tied the two stories together by having Cable and de Becque go on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines, from which only one of them returns.

The original production featured Mary Martin and marked the Broadway debut of Metropolitan Opera basso Ezio Pinza. It opened at the Majestic Theatre on April 7, 1949, and ran for 1,925 performances, making it the second longest-running musical of the decade. It also became only the second musical to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The classic 1958 film version featured Mitzi Gaynor and Rosanno Brazzi. In 1967, the show was revived at Lincoln Center with a cast headed by Florence Henderson and Giorgio Tozzi.

Richard Rodgers wrote the music for this show with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, while Hammerstein and Joshua Logan wrote the libretto. Five to six musicians in the orchestra pit will provide music for this production. The band will be synthetically augmented.

The show runs about 2 1/2 hours.

What: South Pacific.When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.Where: Lied Center.Ticket prices: $17 to $40.

Tickets for the performance at the Lied Center range from $17 to $40. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; Student Union Activities Box Office in the Kansas Union, 864-SHOW; TicketMaster outlets, (785) 234-4545 and (816) 931-3330; and online at TICKETS.COM and

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