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South Pacific – The New Broadway Cast Recording 2008

South Pacific – The New Broadway Cast Recording 2008

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Synopsis

On an island in the South Pacific during World War II, Emile de Becque’s children, Ngana and Jerome are singing a happy song (“Dites-Moi”) on the terrace of his lush plantation. They run into the house as Emile and Nellie Forbush, a U.S. Navy Nurse, arrive from lunch. Nellie is a self-proclaimed hick from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Emile is an older, cultured French expatriate. Nellie doesn’t quite fit in with the other nurses because she has a positive, open-hearted attitude despite the harsh realities of the war (“A Cockeyes Optimist”). Nellie and Emile have begun to have feelings for one another over the two weeks since they met (“Twin Soliloquies”). Finally Emile declares that they must seize the moment and proclaims his love for her (“Some Enchanted Evening”). On the beach, US Navy Seabees make fun of Bloody Mary, a Tonkinese merchant who sells souvenirs to the GIs (“Bloody Mary”). Seabee Luther Billis, Bloody Mary’s chief competition, wants to go to the neighboring island of Bali Ha’i where he can obtain a prized souvenir, the ceremonial boar’s tooth. Bali Ha’i, off-limits to everyone but officers, is also where the French planters hide their young women; another appealing prospect for Luther! The lack of female companionship is a serious problem for the American men stationed on the island (“There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame”). U.S. Marine, Lt. Joseph Cable, enters with orders to obtain the help of Emile de Becque to carry out a secret mission on one of the nearby Japanese-held islands, gathering intelligence about enemy troop movements. Billis sees Cable as a way to get to Bali Ha’i. Bloody Mary singles Cable out to describe the enchantment of the mysterious island (“Bali Ha’i”). Meanwhile, Captain Brackett, the island commander, knowing of Nellie’s budding romance with Emile, asks her to find out more about the Frenchman. A little later, Nellie receives a letter from her mother cautioning her that she has nothing in common with de Becque. She runs into Cable, who shares a little about his life on the Philadelphia Main Line (“My Girl Back Home”) and warns Nellie that her mother’s apprehensions about Emile may be well-founded. On the beach, Nellie decides that her mother is right and vows to break off the relationship (“I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”). Emile appears and Nellie, remembering her assignment, asks him about the reasons he left France. Emile confesses that when he was young he was forced to kill a bully who threatened to take over his town, causing him to flee to this island. Nellie is relieved at Emile’s candor. Emile proposes marriage (“Some Enchanted Evening – reprise”), This time Nellie throws caution to the wind and rejoices in her newfound love despite the taunting of the other nurses (“A Wonderful Guy”). De Becque, hopeful that he and Nellie will have a life together, refuses Captain Brackett’s request to go on the dangerous mission. Cable decides to accompany Billis to Bali Ha’i (“Bali Ha’i – reprise”). There Bloody Mary introduces him to her beautiful young daughter Liat and they fall in love (“Younger Than Springtime”). Nellie and Emile celebrate their relationship waltzing in each other’s arms (“A Wonderful Guy – reprise”). They contemplate what their future together will be like (“This Is How It Feels”). Suddenly, Ngana and Jerome run in and Emile admits that their deceased mother was Polynesian. Nellie, whose racial prejudices will not allow her to accept Emile’s relationship with the children’s mother, flees in shock and embarrassment leaving a distraught Emile as Act One ends (“Finale Act One”). Act Two begins as the Sailors, Seabees and Nurses are putting on the base’s “Thanksgiving Follies.” Backstage, Cable, recovering from malaria, tries to find Billis to take him back to Bali Ha’i as Bloody Mary and Liat appear. Bloody Mary tries to convince Cable to marry Liat (“Happy Talk”) but Cable finds it impossible to overcome his feelings against marrying a Tonkinese girl. Onstage, the holiday entertainment is capped by a number starring Nellie dressed in an oversized sailor suit and Luther in full island drag (“Honey Bun”). After the show, Emile confronts Nellie about breaking off their engagement but she insists that she can’t help her feelings of intolerance and runs off. Refusing to accept Nellie’s small-mindedness, Emile asks Cable why they are both so prejudiced and Cable replies (“You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”). Emile is heartbroken that these attitudes have cost him his happiness with Nellie (“This Nearly Was Mine”). Feeling he has nothing more to lose, Emile agrees to go on the mission with Cable. Nellie, not knowing of the secret operation, asks Captain Brackett why she has not been able to find Emile. Brackett admits that de Becque and Cable are behind enemy lines. A radio message comes from Emile that Cable has died just as communications are abruptly cut off. Nellie, alone on the Beach, prays for Emile to come home, realizing how little her bigotry means in light of her love for him (“Some Enchanted Evening – reprise”). When the American military starts to mobilize for action (“Honey Bun – reprise”), Nellie goes to Emile’s house to take care of his children. As she and the children sit down to eat, Emile appears at the door and is touched to see how affectionately Nellie attends to them. As they sing the same French song that opened the show, Emile joins the family for lunch. Nellie and Emile clasp hands in love as the curtain falls (“Finale Ultimo”). – Ira Weitzman

Credits

Ensign Nellie Forbush: Kelli O’Hara Emile de Becque: Paulo Szot Ngana, his daughter: Laurissa Romain Jerome, his son: Luka Kain Henry: Helmar Augustus Cooper Bloody Mary: Loretta Ables Sayre Liat, her daughter: Li Jun Li Bloody Mary’s Assistants: Maryann Hu, Emily Morales, Kimber Monroe Luther Billis: Danny Burstein Stewpot: Victor Hawks Professor: Noah Weisberg Lt. Joseph Cable, United States Marine Corps: Matthew Morrison Capt. George Brackett, United States Navy: Skipp Sudduth Cmdr. William Harbison, United States Navy: Sean Cullen Yeoman Herbert Quale, Sailor: Christian Delcroix Radio Operator Bob McCaffrey, Sailor: Matt Caplan Morton Wise, Seabee: Genson Blimline Richard West, Seabee: Nick Mayo Johnny Noonan, Seabee: Jeremy Davis Billy Whitmore, Seabee: Robert Lenzi Tom O’Brien, Sailor: Mike Evariste James Hayes, Sailor: Jerold E. Solomon Kenneth Johnson, Sailor: Christian Carter Petty Officer Hamilton Steves: Charlie Brady Marine Staff Sgt. Thomas Hassinger: Zachary James Lt. Eustis Carmichael, Shore Patrolman: Andrew Samonsky Lt. Genevieve Marshall, Lead Nurse: Lisa Howard Ensign Dinah Murphy: Laura Marie Duncan Ensign Janet MacGregor: Laura Griffith EnsignConnie Walewska: Margot de la Barre Ensign Sue Yaeger: Garrett Long Ensign Cora MacRae: Becca Ayers Islanders, Sailors, Seabees, Party Guests: Becca Ayers, Genson Blimline, Charlie Brady, Matt Caplan, Christian Carter, Helmar Augustus Cooper, Jeremy Davis, Margot de la Barre, Mike Evariste, Laura Griffith, Lisa Howard, Maryann Hu, Zachary James, Robert Lenzi, Garrett Long, Nick Mayo, George Merrick, Kimber Monroe, Emily Morales, Andrew Samonsky, Jeronld E. Solomon