South Pacific is widely regarded as one of the best musicals ever written. Adapted from James A. Michener's novel Tales of the South Pacific, which won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it went on to win the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The score is by the legendary pair of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (Oklahoma!, Carousel), and the book is by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan (original director of Annie Get Your Gun, among others). The show premiered on Broadway on April 7, 1949 and ran for nearly 5 years, through January 16, 1954, after a whopping 1,925 performances. There have been several London and New York productions over the years as well as national tours that have lasted for years at a time. The original cast included Mary Martin (Peter Pan) as Nellie Forbush, but many actresses have since stepped into her shoes, including Cloris Leachman (TV's The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Florence Henderson (TV's The Brady Bunch), Reba McEntire (Annie Get Your Gun), Kelli O'Hara (A Light in the Piazza), and Laura Osnes (Anything Goes).
South Pacific's score has launched some of the most memorable musical theater classics, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "There is Nothing Like a Dame," "A Cockeyed Optimist," "Bali Ha'i," "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy," and "Younger Than Springtime." Get your own South Pacific tickets now to hear these and more beautiful classics and see this American classic story live.Plot Synopsis:
During World War II, U.S. Navy nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush, from Little Rock, Arkansas, has fallen in love with Emile de Becque, a middle-aged French plantation owner on an island in the South Pacific, and he has loved her ever since they met at the officer's club dance. When she returns to the hospital, it is revealed that the two half-Polynesian children playing outside are his, but Nellie does not know. Meanwhile, the American seabees, led by Luther Billis, grow restless in the absence of women. The only civilian woman around is Bloody Mary, a middle-aged Tonkinese woman with an attitude. She tries to sell her wares while acting flirtatiously with the men. Billis desires to visit the forbidden, exotic, nearby island of Bali Ha'i, where there are rumored to be young French women.
When U.S. Marine Lieutenant Joseph Cable arrives on the island, Bloody Mary tries to persuade him to visit Bali Ha'i, and Billis encourages him. Cable meets with his commanding officers, who plan to ask Emile to help on a mission because he used to live on the island in question and it is rumored that he committed a murder. They enlist Nellie to find out more from Emile, who invites her to a party to introduce her to his friends. After he comes clean about fleeing France because he killed a local tyrant in self-defense, she is touched by his honesty and agrees to marry him.
The Naval officers ask Emile to accompany Cable to a Japanese-controlled island, but he refuses in order to stay with Nellie. They place Cable on leave until the mission can commence, and he is persuaded to go to Bali Ha'i with Billis. Once there, Bloody Mary, convinced that her daughter's only hope for a better future is to marry an American officer, leaves the two alone together. The girl, Liat, and Cable are immediately attracted to one another and make love. Meanwhile, Nellie and Emile celebrate their engagement after his big party. But when he reveals that the half-Polynesian children are his by a now-deceased native woman, Nellie can not overcome her racial prejudices and reluctantly leaves Emile.
On Thanksgiving, the seabees and nurses put on a show called "The Thanksgiving Follies." Cable, who has been to Bali Ha'i frequently to visit Liat, has succumbed to the malaria outbreak there. When Bloody Mary urges him to marry her daughter, he refuses, saying that his family would never approve of him marrying a Tonkinese girl. Angered, Bloody Mary drags Liat away, promising to marry her off to a better man. Back at the Follies, Emile asks Cable and Nellie why they have such racial prejudices, and while they acknowledge that they were not born with them, they maintain that they are still deeply ingrained within them.
Now feeling that he has nothing to lose, Emile agrees to accompany Cable on the mission. Thanks to a highly orchestrated diversion, American aircraft are able to destroy Japanese ships. And while Emile narrowly escapes harm, Cable is killed. Nellie, worried that Emile has been killed, hates herself for rejecting him. Bloody Mary and Liat come to ask where Cable is because Liat refuses to marry anyone else; Nellie comforts the young girl after she hears the terrible news. Later, Nellie spends time with Emile's children and begins to love them. One day, while the children are teaching her to sing one of their songs, they hear Emile's voice from afar. Nellie, finally overcoming her racist attitudes, agrees to become his wife and their mother. Order your South Pacific tickets now to experience this gripping story come to life on stage.Awards: 1950 Tony Awards: 10 nominations, 10 wins 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2008 Tony Awards: 11 nominations, 7 wins 2008 Drama Desk Awards: 8 nominations, 5 wins and many more... Creative Team: Music Richard Rodgers Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II Book Oscar Hammerstein II, Joshua Logan Based on Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener South Pacific News: June 15, 2008 The Broadway revival of South Pacific wins 7 Tony Awards!