Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Community Review: Rankin File - South Pacific

It may be because my father was in the South Pacific in WWII, or perhaps because I was there 27 years later for the next war.  It may be because the Michener narrative projected on the stage reminding me of iridescent blue green water and pearl white sand.  But, as suggested by Michener, I loved this production because of the people. This production was a joy.  

Anyone who has hoped to someday hear the magnificence of a Welsh Baritone resonating the difficult and plaintive  “This Nearly Was Mine” with a voice that effortlessly resonated power as if from the deepest peddle pipe of a great cathedral organ must see this production.  Jason Howard as Emile de Becque was better than I could have imagined possible.  Carmen Cusack as Ensign Nellie Forbush was perfectly cast and was a delight.  Washing your hair on stage is no easy task, but even harder is singing afterward with a wet head.  I loved the contrast of voices between Cusack and Howard. As their characters dictated they were as different as Dinah Shore and Bryn Terfel, but together and separately they made beautiful music. Bravo!  

Other notes: 
  • The sound was right on making every word understandable, and every note heard.  Many productions these days don’t seem to think it necessary to hear the words.
  • The orchestra and its orchestration was a treat.  Who does it better than Rogers/Bennett?   I noticed many local musicians.  I saw the New York version several weeks ago on PBS and thought this orchestra was at least as good if not better. (Maybe it’s my TV.)
  • I appreciated the staging, and the attention to detail in the theme of segregation, but was blown away with the interpretation of “The Beach” and the movement of troops to a new location.  For me, this kind of impressionism is what it’s all about.  
  • Jodi Kimura, as Bloody Mary, captured the part and played it very well.
  • Did anyone notice that a couple of the sailors were a bit “cheeky”? 

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