South Pacific – Music Theatre of Lincoln Center Revival 1967
Act I An island in the South Pacific, during World War II. Two Eurasian children are singing outside a plantation house – Dites-Moi. Their father, Emile de Becque, arrives with an American nurse. Nellie Forbush, whom he has invited to have dinner with him. Emile is “a cultured Frenchman,” and Nellie, a “little hick” from Little Rock with a “knucklehead” disposition – A Cockeyed Optimist. They are attracted to each other, but they are reluctant to admit it to themselves and one another – Twin Soliloquies. Nellie is hesitant about getting involved, prompting Emile to remark that one has to seize every opportunity life presents – Some Enchanted Evening. Near the shore, at a U.S. navy base, a group of Marines and Seabees are singing the praises of a Tonkinese woman who sells native artifacts for “fo’ dolla’” – Bloody Mary. The crafty Bloody Mary evokes another mysterious island, Bali Ha’i, seen in a mist in the distance, where allegedly the best trinkets – and young French women – can be found. Alas, Bali Ha’i is off limits, and its evocation only serves to heighten the men’s sense of solitude – There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame. In comes a new visitor, Lt. Joseph Cable. Mary immediately sees in him a potential husband for her seventeen-year-old daughter, Liat, and describes to the spellbound lieutenant what looms beyond on that mysterious island – Bali Ha’i. Back to reality, Cable details to the naval commander, Captain Brackett, the reason for his presence. He has been instructed to set up a spying outpost on a nearby island occupied by the Japanese, and to take along with him de Becque, who owns a plantation there. Brackett calls in Nellie and asks her to find out all she can about Emile. On the beach, several nurses are teasing Nellie about her alleged romance with Emile. Nellie tells them that relationship is over – I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair. Emile shows up, and her resolve vanishes, but aware of her mission, she asks him about his past – he tells her that he exiled himself to the South Pacific after he killed a man in his hometown. When he asks her to marry him, she realizes that she is in love with him – A Wonderful Guy. The American officers ask Emile if he would be willing to help them, but he turns them down – with Nellie in his life, he has other plans. With the mission in jeopardy, the base commander gives Cable a couple of days off. Bloody Mary convinces Cable to go to Bali Ha’i, and takes him to meet Liat. It is love at first sight, as Cable details it – Younger Than Springtime. Back on the terrace of Emile’s house, Nellie has attended a dinner party with Emile’s friends. Emile brings in his two children, and tells Nellie about his relationship with their mother, a native woman, now dead. Taken aback by the revelation, and by the idea of that interracial affair, Nellie runs away. Act II A week has passed. The base has become very active with preparations for the “Thanksgiving Follies.” Emile arrives backstage, looking for Nellie, and is told that she has put in for a transfer. Cable enters, followed by Mary and Liat. Mary taunts the Lieutenant with paradisiacal visions of life with her daughter (Happy Talk), but Cable, aware of the racial overtones of this relationship and its implications, tells her he won’t marry Liat. Mary angrily drags off her daughter as the “Thanksgiving Follies” get underway. The highlight of the production is Nellie, dressed as a sailor, extolling the charms of an American sailor, Luther Billis, in a grass skirt and coconut bra – Honey Bun. Backstage Nellie runs into Lt. Cable and Emile. She tells Emile she cannot marry him, and after she has left Cable explains to Emile how Americans harbor such racial prejudices – You’ve Got To Be Taught. Emile is completely devastated over Nellie’s rejection (This Nearly Was Mine), and now that he has nothing to live for anymore, he agrees to join Cable on his dangerous mission. From their outpost on the island, Emile and Cable dispatch reports that help the Americans combat their enemy. Before their radio goes dead, Emile informs the base command that the Japanese are withdrawing, and that Cable has been killed. Days later, we are back on the terrace of Emile’s plantation. The Americans are leaving the island, but Nellie, now aware of her feelings for Emile and not knowing whether he is dead or alive, is playing with his two children. Emile suddenly appears, unhurt – Dites-Moi (Reprise) / Some Enchanted Evening (Reprise).
Ngana: Dana Shimizu Jerome: Keenan Shimizu Henry: Robert Ito Ensign Nellie Forbush: Florence Henderson Emile de Becque: Giorgio Tozzi Bloody Mary: Irene Byatt Abner: Judd Jones Stewpot: Brad Sullivan Luther Billis: David Doyle Professor: Mickey Karm Lt. Joseph Cable: Justin McDonough Capt. George Brackett: Lyle Talbot Cmdr. William Harbison: Bob Monroe Yeoman Herbert Quale: Ted Story Sgt. Kenneth Johnson: William Lutz Seabee Richard West: Frank Scannelli Seabee Morton Wise: Alexander Orfaly Pvt. Tom O’Brien: James O’Sullivan Radio Operator Bob McCaffrey: Roger Brown Marine Cpl. Hamilton Steves: Dick Ensslen Seabee Thomas Hassinger: Phil Lucas Seabee James Jerome: Joseph Della Sorte Pvt. Sven Larsen: Don Dolan Pvt. Jack Walters: Bob Barbieri Pvt. Dick Sederholm: Jess E. Richards Seabee Roger Pitt: Marvin Camillo Seabee John Nathan: David Jarratt Seabee Keith Moore: Laried Montgomery Lt. Genevieve Marshall: Jane Coleman Ensign Lisa Manelli: Lisa Damon Ensign Connie Walewska: Martha Danielle Ensign Janet McGregor: Susan Campbell Ensign Bessie Noonan: Joyce Maret Ensign Pamela Whitmore: Patti Davis Ensign Rita Adams: Anne Nathan Ensign Sue Yaeger: Judy Case Ensign Cora MacRae: Lynn Dovel Ensign Dinah Murphy: Bobbi Baird Liat: Eleanor Calbes Lt. Buzz Adams: Jack Knight