Foothill Music Theatre Takes a Trip to the SOUTH PACIFIC, Now thru 8/10
Multi-award winning Foothill Music Theatre presents the epic Broadway Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical, SOUTH PACIFIC. Winner of 10 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this ground-breaking musical based on James A. Michener's 1927 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Tales of the South Pacific, features such iconic hits as Some Enchanted Evening, Younger Than Springtime, There Is Nothing Like a Dame, Bali Ha'i, and I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair. SOUTH PACIFIC will be directed by Milissa Carey, with musical direction by Mark Hanson and choreography by Michael Ryken and plays today, July 24 through August 10 in the Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Rd., Los Altos Hills. The public may purchase tickets ($10 - $28) online at www.FoothillMusicals.com or by calling (650) 949-7360.
Originally declared "Rhapsodically enjoyable," by The New York Times, SOUTH PACIFIC opened on Broadway in 1949, and became the second-longest running Broadway musical at the time (behind Rodgers and Hammerstein's earlier Oklahoma!) running 1,925 performances. The plot centers on an American nurse (Nellie Forbush) stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner (Emile de Becque) but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A parallel plot line follows a young American G.I. who faces his own prejudices when he discovers love with a young Tonkinese girl. Just as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1949, SOUTH PACIFIC candidly explores racism and vividly captures the emotions of the war: intensity and boredom, the optimism and desperation, and the prejudice and acceptance. Its 10 Tony Awards included Best Musical, Best Score, Best Libretto, and it is the only musical to win Tony Awards in all four acting categories. The original cast album was the best-selling record of the 1940's.
SOUTH PACIFIC was adapted into a 1958 motion picture and has repeatedly enjoyed success in revivals and tours. In 2008 it returned to Broadway to wide critical acclaim and nearly 1,000 performances. The ground-breaking musical would win another seven Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical Revival.
Perhaps one of the most significant figures in musical theatre, Richard Rodgers was an American composer for more than 40 Broadway musicals and 900 published songs. He is one of twelve people who have won all four major annual American entertainment awards, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards (EGOT), and only one of two individuals who has received both an EGOT and a Pulitzer Prize. Lyricist and author Oscar Hammerstein II was best known for his accomplishments in the field of operetta and co-writing the Broadway masterpiece Show Boat before partnering with Rodgers to produce their first musical, Oklahoma!, in 1943, which gave rise to a new genre of the musical play. For the next two decades, the collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein would introduce such legendary works as Carousel, Allegro, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream and The Sound of Music. Collectively, their musicals have earned 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards, and two Emmy Awards. The duo is marked as the most successful joint force in Broadway musical history.
The Foothill Music Theatre cast for SOUTH PACIFIC includes the talented Madison Genovese as "Nellie Forbush." New to the Bay Area, Genovese has starred in many leading roles at the University of Puget Sound, including Wendla in Spring Awakening and Kate in Pirates of Penzance.
Daniel Cameron joins the SOUTH PACIFIC cast as "Emile de Becque." Cameron has been seen in several Bay Area productions including San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Postcard from Morocco and Serse and Opera on Tap - San Francisco's La Cenerentola and Le Nozze di Figaro.
Bay Area opera singer Stephen Boisvert returns to Foothill (last seen in Anything Goes) in the role of "Luther Billis." Boisvert has been seen with many Bay Area theatre and opera companies including Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, City Lights Theatre Company, Trinity Lyric Opera, and Lyric Theatre of San Jose.
In his Foothill Music Theatre debut, Sergey Khalikulov will play the role of "Lt. Joseph Cable." Khalikulov has been seen in several San Francisco Conservatory Opera Theatre and Musical Theatre productions including Postcard from Morocco, Le Nozze di Figaro, Serse, Little Women, Into the Woods, and Gianni Schicchi.
Jackie DeMuro will play the part of "Bloody Mary." Over the last 20 years, DeMuro has performed with many Bay Area theatre companies including TheatreWorks, 42nd Street Moon, Broadway By The Bay, Willows Theatre, Palo Alto Players, and many others.
SOUTH PACIFIC will also feature Vic Prosak, Doug Brees, Amanda Nguyen, Joey Montes, Anika Amrikas-Armstrong, Mathew Mamman, Will Bowmer, Chris Cruz, Paul Joseph Esticko, Remi Ferguson, Patric Hagen, Steven Ho, David Kirk, Andrew Kracht, Vaughn Mayer, Jerris Ramirez, Kevin Reid, Erik Scilley, Jeff Taylor, Max Walters, Jake Weissman-Scharer, Mike Weiland, Caroline Bacon, Megan Coomans, Nique Eagen, Cassandra Gilley, Dana Johnson, Elizabeth Lawrence, Ellen Presley, Minna Rogers, Kaz Tarshis, Marley Westley, and Chernee Young.
Milissa Carey (Director) joined the Foothill faculty in 2003 and teaches in both the Theatre and Music Departments. An award-winning Bay Area actress, Carey has performed leading roles with many Bay Area theatre companies including TheatreWorks, Center Repertory Theater of Walnut Creek, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Pacific Alliance Stage Company, San Francisco Playhouse, CentralWorks, Thick Description, 42nd Street Moon, Theatrefirst, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, and many others. She was in the cast of the 25th Anniversary Broadway National Tour of Evita under the direction of Hal Prince. Carey has performed with Foothill Music Theatre as "Kate" in Kiss Me Kate, "Golde" in Fiddler on the Roof, and "Lily" in Twentieth Century, directed by Jay Manley, and directed Foothill Music Theatre productions of Working, All Shook Up, Spring Awakening and most recently Little Shop of Horrors. She directed It's A Wonderful Life, A Radio Play for Broadway By The Bay, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Bus Barn Stage Company, Sylvia at California Conservatory Theatre and has worked on projects at American Musical Theatre of San Jose and the A.C.T. Young Conservatory. She is also on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as an acting teacher and stage director in the Opera Department.
Mark Hanson (Musical Director) returns to Foothill Music Theatre for his ninth show. He has provided musical direction for many Bay Area theatre companies, including eight musicals at Bus Barn Stage Company, including last year's Avenue Q. Other Bay area credits include Broadway by the Bay, Contra Costa Musical Theatre and Foothill Music Theater. Hanson is the Program Coordinator of the BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
Michael Ryken (Choreographer) has directed several productions around the Bay Area including Sunset Boulevard and The Sound of Music for Contra Costa Musical Theatre, as well as Avenue Q for the Los Altos Stage Company, and various productions for the California Conservatory Theatre in San Leandro in his capacity as Managing Artistic Director. He also directed and choreographed Douglas Morrison Theatre's production of Grey Gardens, among many other productions. Ryken choreographed Foothill Music Theatre's production of Working in the Spring of 2001, and up next he will choreograph Anything Goes at Broadway By The Bay.
Foothill Music Theatre has won Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble Production, and Best Direction, among others. The company has also garnered numerous awards from the Los Angeles-based Drama-Logue, and kudos from myriad Bay Area critics for its sharp, handsomely mounted productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Damn Yankees, Spring Awakening, Damn Yankees, The Producers, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, and many other musicals.
Photo Credit: David Allen