February 22-24, 2018 BPAC 7:30 Directed by Kelly Parker, Choreographed by Jerry MacLauchlin
Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Based on the anecdotes of a real-life U.S. Navy commander who was stationed on an island, the musical follows two intercultural love stories: Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with Emile, a French plantation owner on the island who has two children from his late Polynesian wife; at the same time, U.S. Lieutenant Cable falls for a beautiful island native named Liat. Both Americans find themselves struggling to reconcile their own cultural prejudices with their amorous feelings, all the while under the dark cloud of a war that is coming ever closer to their island paradise.
There isn't a lot of building for this show, it's mostly a shop and pull show. We're spending a lot of money ordering things we don't have. Here's the list so far: Dungarees from Military Supply House: $419.00 Dungaree blouses from Wrangler: $245.51 Name Tapes: $67.00 Coveralls from American Work Supply: $55.98 Nurse Uniform from Allheart: $34.18 Pilot Uniforms from Dickies: $131.45 Bomber jackets from Newegg: $299.98 Seabees accessories from Military Supply House: $189.00 Officer Uniforms from Military Supply House: Nurse Service Uniform from Dickies: $104.00 Grass skirts, leis, coconut bra Oriental Trading Co.: $159.00 Nurse's canvas shoes from Amazon $130.80 Avaitor sunglasses and hats from Amazon $99.56 Joanne's $121.03 TOTAL PURCHASES: $2056.49 Most of the dungarees are fitting perfectly. We're having to take up up the CB seams on some of the pants, and we're having to hem some of them. We're having to sew all the name tapes and Seabee patches onto the shirts. The coveralls that I bought to be the pilots' flight suits were not available in the correct sand color, so I bought dye and we're going to dye them. We also have to make the life preserver vest and the parachute pack and web belting that attaches everything together.
We are making the sarongs for all the Islanders. We had previously bought the fabric for the Bollywood dance number two years ago, but because the choreographer couldn't make it up here on icy I-35, it never got turned into salwar kameez, so we're turning it into sarongs for 3 boys and 11 girls and one pair of pants and a shirt for Bloody Mary.
McLennan Theatre travels to 'South Pacific'
By Carl Hoover firstname.lastname@example.org Feb. 14, 2018
Ensign Nellie Forbush (Hannah Young) and islander Emile de Becque (Jonah Hardt) find love during World War II in McLennan Theatre’s production of “South Pacific.” staff photo Jerry Larson
While the romance and messages on racism in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” still hold up almost 70 years after its Broadway debut, theaters usually depend on the available talent for their timing. The student talent has aligned for McLennan Theatre this year, leading the theater to present it as this season’s musical, said its director, Kelly Parker. “We’ve got some really amazing voices in our theater group and we don’t always get those people,” he said. “It makes a major difference when you have people who fit the roles.” The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical follows American nurse Nellie Forbush (Hannah Young), who’s stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II and falls in love with the French plantation owner Emile de Becque (Jonah Hardt). Their relationship stumbles, however, when it comes to her acceptance of his mixed race children. Another island romance, that between Navy Lt. Joe Cable (Christian Trigleth) and islander Liat (Brice Garcia), also comes up against the issue of racism. “South Pacific” carried more of a social message than other Rodgers and Hammerstein creations, but its music made it a Broadway classic with such songs as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Nothing Like A Dame,” “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” and “Bali Ha’i.” When it arrived on Broadway, the musical found a ready audience, running for a record-breaking 1,925 performances.
Parker said the musical, which enjoyed a 2008 revival on Broadway, still works for contemporary casts and audiences. “This show is so straightforward. The characters are pretty direct. If you can tell that (story) with honesty, it works,” he said. “This really is (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s) masterpiece. Every song is gold.” Parker directs a company of more than 30 actors, with Elizabeth Talbot leading choreography and stage movement and Daniel Ferris directing the music. While some productions have drawn criticism in recent years for the portrayal of the musical’s Polynesian characters, the McLennan Theatre one will stick with its cast’s natural ethnic diversity to reflect that of the musical. “We will not be doing any sort of makeup,” Parker noted. “We have a very diverse campus so we try to embrace it as much as we can.” The Feb. 24 performance is part of the MCC Foundation’s Hearts in the Arts Gala which includes a 6 p.m. dinner reception at MCC’s Northwood House and a dessert reception following the evening’s performance. Tickets are $75 and available through Friday by calling 299-8604 or emailing email@example.com.