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Matthew Morrison in "South Pacific"


alanm
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I know there has been a discussion about whether this is the first

revival of "South Pacific" since the classic musical opened in 1949 with Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin. That discussion may be moot.

 

I just saw a preview of "South Pacific," and finally understand why the musical was such a huge hit. The leads are superb: Kelli O'Hara (Nellie); Paulo Szot (Emile); Matthew Morrison (Lt. Cable); Loretta Ables Sayre (Bloody Mary). Lincoln Center has spared no expense: huge orchestra and first-rate production values. Huge stage makes all this possible.

 

Matthew Morrison was the male lead in "Light in the Piazza" a few years ago. Interesting performance as Lt. Cable. Morrison walks on stage as a more macho version of Tom Cruise in "Top Gun." Within a few minutes, he has his shirt off displaying a smoking body (how many hours in the gym?) In the second act, Morrison badly overacts his character's suffering from malaria. But that's what previews are for.

 

(I tried to find a picture of Matthew Morrison on stage in SP on the Internet, but nothing yet).

 

Morrison's understudy (Robert Lenzi) is equally sexy. The understudy has a brief nude scene (with two other seabees) as the officers chase the guys out of the three shower rooms for Nellie Forbush to sing "I'm Going to Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair." There were some African American school kids in the audience. They loved that scene -- laughed and laughed, which made everyone else laugh even harder. Who knew such a brief nude scene could stop the show even in a great musical. It was wonderful for the kids and everyone else.

 

Tickets are already tough, so check it out soon if you are interested.

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Yes, Morrison was the original Link Larkin.

 

I should have mentioned that Matthew Morrison (Lt Cable) and Kelli O'Hara (Nellie) were the two original leads in "The Light in the Piazza."

 

Finally, people may differ but I did not find the message of racial tolerance In "South Pacific" during the 1940s ("You Have to Be Carefully Taught") out dated. The lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein, is often remembered as being naive --- I do not agree in this case.

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RE: Matthew Morrison in "South Pacific"

 

The play can be interpreted by the actors and the directors to be a stronger message against racial tolerance. You have to remember that for its time, 1948, it was perhaps as strong as message that would be allowed on Broadway.

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RE: Matthew Morrison in "South Pacific"

 

Naive compared to Richard Rodgers' first lyric partner, Larry Hart.

 

I greatly prefer the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals (Oklahoma through The South of Music) myself. But, there's no doubt that Hart's lyrics for musicals like Pal Joey are very different from Hammerstein's. The example that people love to point to is "My Favorite Things" (Hammerstein: "rain drops on roses, wiskers on kittens").

 

"South Pacific" is a musical of great hope. Both Nellie and Joe Cable decide to put their prejudices aside. Nellie will marry Emile. And Cable decides to marry Liat, the Polynesian girl, just before taking off for a dangerous mission (from which he never returns).

 

But, eight years after South Pacific opened a vicious small riot broke out in Nellie's home town (Little Rock) when nine black students arrived at Central High School in that city. Date: September 4, 1957

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I saw it as well over the weekend and it was terrific. Run and see it!

 

I'm not sure why there is discussion about the revival. There is simply no doubt that there has never been a revival on Broadway of this show since it opened. It's in the archives. It's a fact.

 

Mark

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>I saw it as well over the weekend and it was terrific. Run

>and see it!

>

>I'm not sure why there is discussion about the revival. There

>is simply no doubt that there has never been a revival on

>Broadway of this show since it opened. It's in the archives.

>It's a fact.

>

>Mark

 

I posted notes on productions on the perimeter of Broadway because I thought theater queens on the site would enjoy the program notes. Be happy with your fact.

 

"I'd say that's a bit of an extreme reaction, now wouldn't you?" -- N.F. Bates

 

 

Lankypeters

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