Hale Theatre Presents SOUTH PACIFIC, Now thru 3/30
Set on a tropical island during World War II, South Pacific tells the sweeping romantic story of two parallel couples who are threatened by the dangers of racial prejudice and war. This enchanting musical comes to life on the Hale Theatre stage in Gilbert tonight, February 14th through March 30th.
It is 1943 and the United States Navy has established several bases in the Solomon Islands, in preparation for an invasion towards New Guinea and the Central Pacific. On one such island lives a French planter named Emile de Becque (Mark Kleinman), whom the Navy wishes to employ as a scout to nearby Japanese held islands. To accomplish this task, de Becque is approached by a US Navy nurse named Nellie Forbush (Emily Evans).
The soulful, disillusioned Emile (Mark Kleinman) finds himself attracted to the optimistic and younger Nellie (Emily Evans). Finally overcoming his meekness, Emile declares his love and proposes. Nellie's inbred bigotry arises when she discovers that Emile has two mixed-race children and refuses his offer.
It's not only Nellie who deals with race in South Pacific. In the musical's subplot, Lt. Cable (Tedd Glazebrook), is the offspring of a proper Philadelphia family and is the only character who's actually seen combat. His problems surface when he falls in love with a Tonkinese girl named Liat, (Annisa Griego). As his feelings increase for Liat, Lt Cable begins to display racial tensions of his own. He finally admits that he won't marry a native girl. Liat's Mother, Bloody Mary (Melissa vanSlyke), drags her daughter away in a fit of anger to marry her elsewhere. Both Nellie and Cable offer us an insight into their inner conflict and shame by telling us that they are conditioned to behave this way and are prisoners to their upbringing.
Inside the romance, comedy and exoticism, the creators - composer Richard Rodgers, lyricist and co-author Oscar Hammerstein - presented a story that questioned core American values, with an emphasis on issues of race and power.
The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning, 1948 novel, Tales of the South Pacific where love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.
Considered by many as the finest musical ever written, the score's songs include such musical theatre classics as "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," "This Nearly Was Mine'" and "There is Nothin' Like A Dame."
Acclaimed director and father to David Dietlein (Gilbert Hale Theatre's owner), Allan Dietlein takes the helm of this breathtaking musical. As former owner of the Glendale Theatre in California, Allan has over 575 shows under his belt that he has either produced or directed. He has worked with such stars as Ellen Wheeler, a two-time Tony award winner & TV producer, Mike Farrell, "MAS"; Diane McBain, "Ice Palace" with Rock Hudson; Gordon Jump, Station Manager in "KWRP in Cincinnati"; Danny Roebuck, "The Andy Griffith Show" & "The Fugitives". Mr. Dietlein has received awards and commendations from Presidents Reagan & Clinton along with several state and local officials and organizations for his work. Locally he is a recipient of the "Arizoni" award for Direction and Best Show.
Hale Theatre's South Pacific not only features an award winning director, but an all star cast. The female lead, Nellie Forbush will be played by Hale new comer, Emily Evans. Emily has performed in Japan, Europe, on Holland America Cruise Line and at the Lagoon Amusement park in Utah.
Fresh off his role of Scrooge in Hale Theatre's A Christmas Carol, Mark Kleinman returns to the stage as Emile De Becque. Joining him is Tedd Glazebrook (Sparky, Forever Plaid, Capt Albert Lennox, The Secret Garden) as Joe Cable, Melissa vanSlyke (Martha, The Secret Garden) as Bloody Mary and Hale veteran, Gary Caswell, as Luther Billis.
Hale owner and producer David Dietlein says, "The show appeals to people because of what it's about. It's about loneliness, it's about love, it's about war. It's about people of different cultures coming together and attempting to find a common language."
The Broadway production was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won all of them, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Libretto. It was the only musical production ever to win all four Tony Awards for acting.