Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Community Review: I Am Impressed

Last night I attended the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Roger & Hammerstein's South Pacific at the Fox Cities P.A.C., and it was flawless! But, that wasn't the first word I used to describe it this morning to my elderly mom, who I call every morning first thing. When she asked, "How was it?" I could only spurt single words, like "refreshing," and "inspiring." I told her that it was "energetic," unable even to begin forming full sentences or brief summaries. I just didn't know where to begin. I loved all of it, but words are too simplistic to convey that!

This show, a part of the Broadway Across America series, is a magnificent, timely, nostalgic reminder of my mother's generation, yet just as significant for me and my children (and grandchildren) today. It's themes are universal and poignant. America is still at war; people still fall in love with inconvenient others. And, sadly, we haven't eliminated biases toward groups of people; we've only changed the targets.

I've read all the James Michener books, including Tales of the South Pacific, and I've seen other versions of this musical. However, this was the best interpretation of the era, and its emotional rollercoaster, that I have experienced.

The cast is widely talented. What a delight to be transported to all those sentimental areas on the voice of the incredible Jason Howard, as Emile de Becque! WOW! How inspiring to see the multi-talented Carmen Cusack as Ensign Nellie Forbush. This lady can act; she can dance; and she sings like an angel.

South Pacific is humorous at times (Jodi Kimura portraying Bloody Mary), heart-breaking at other times (Sumie Maeda portraying Liat) as when the sins of war are punished and innocent individuals lose all they truly care about.

Overall, it's just great entertainment - flawless, really, from the cast to the costumes, to the sets; and,all carried by some of the greatest orchestral Broadway music ever, performed by an orchestra right there at the front of the room. Inspiring. The acoustics of the Center are marvelous; the theater, perfect for such a Broadway show.

South Pacific is an awesome talent-packed, colorful show, and everyone who sees it will undoubtedly be both entertained and challenged by its smart dialogue and lyrical music. If you get a chance, it's definitely worth the trip; you won't be disappointed.

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