Paulo Szot to Star in UK Transfer of SOUTH PACIFIC


Tony winner Paulo Szot is set to return to SOUTH PACIFIC as Emile de Becque in the upcoming London transfer of the 2008 Broadway revival. The production opens at the Barbican Theatre August 15 before beginning a UK tour. Samantha Womack will play Nellie Forbush.

The first Broadway revival of South Pacific opened on April 3 at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Bartlett Sher directed, with musical staging by Christopher Gattelli and associate choreographer Joe Langworth. The opening cast starred Kelli O'Hara as Nellie, Paulo Szot as Emile and Matthew Morrison as Lt. Cable, with Danny Burstein as Billis and Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary.

South Pacific is a 1949 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its stories into a single plotline. The musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. The issue of racial prejudice was sensitively and candidly explored at a time when few musicals engaged in serious social commentary.

South Pacific is considered by some to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals. Several of its songs, including "Bali Ha'i", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "Some Enchanted Evening", "Happy Talk", "Younger than Springtime", and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy", have become worldwide standards. The Broadway production was nominated for and won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Libretto. It is the only musical production ever to have won all four Tony Awards for acting. The show was a critical and box office hit and has since enjoyed many successful revivals and tours and spawned a 1958 film and other adaptations.

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