Tony Award Recipient And Broadway Legend Baayork Lee Directs City Springs Theatre's SOUTH PACIFIC

By: Feb. 06, 2019
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Tony Award Recipient And Broadway Legend Baayork Lee Directs City Springs Theatre's SOUTH PACIFIC

City Springs Theatre, Atlanta's newest professional theatre company, presents Broadway's William Michals and Kristine Reese in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific,"the glorious classic that poetically parallels two love stories threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. The original 1949 Broadway production, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "Tales of the South Pacific," by James A. Michener, garnered 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The acclaimed 2008 Lincoln Center Theater production received seven Tony Awards, the most of any musical revival. Directed by Tony Award recipient and Broadway legend Baayork Lee, "South Pacific"plays the Byers Theatre at TheSandy Springs Performing Arts Center (1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs) March 8 - 17, 2019. Tickets are $30 - $62, with discounts for seniors, students, groups, and active and retired military personnel. Visit or call 404-477-4365 for more information.

Come away to a lush, remote island in the South Pacific during World War II where U.S. Navy officers, Seabees, and nurses discover and embrace unfamiliar people and cultures in a place so very far from home. Cockeyed optimist Nellie Forbush, a nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, falls deeply in love with Frenchman Emile De Becque, a widowed plantation owner who has lived on the island for many years. But their enchanted love story is threatened by Emile's mixed-race children, and Nellie's racist roots that she so deeply wants to outgrow. Ivy League hero Lt. Joseph Cable must also face his own moral compass when he becomes enraptured with Liat, a beautifully frail island girl. "South Pacific" is studded with the most unforgettable songs of all time, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," "Bali Ha'i," and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair."

William Michals, a veteran of the Lincoln Center Theater production of "South Pacific," returns to the role of Emile de Becque. Mr. Michals made his Broadway debut as The Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," performing opposite Andrea McArdle, Deborah Gibson,and Toni Braxton, and later returned to play Gaston in the same production. Ensign Nellie Forbush is played by Kristine Reese, who made her Broadway debut in "Les Miserables." Ms. Reese appeared as Catherine in the first national tour of the Tony Award winning revival of "Pippin," as well as in the first national tour of "Finding Neverland," and as Nessarose in the second national tour of "Wicked." Atlanta's Maxim Gukhman, who has appeared onstage at Alliance Theatre, Actor's Express, and Georgia Shakespeare, plays Lt. Joseph Cable. Cassandra Hlong, who toured nationally in "A Chorus Line" plays Liat, and mezzo-soprano soprano Yvonne Strumecki reprises the role of Liat's mother, Bloody Mary, which she played in the Lincoln Center Theater national tour. Rounding out the principal cast is are Atlanta's Bart Hansard as Capt. George Brackett, Steve Hudson as Cmdr. Bill Harbison, Chris Saltalamacchio as Seabee Luther Billis, Haden Rider as "Stewpot" George Watts, and JD Myers as "Professor."

Others in the cast include CJ Babb, Caleb Brink, Aaron Carter, Leticia Chavez, Fenner Eaddy, John Fiscian, Allison Fisher, Arielle Geller, D.J. Grooms, Leigh Ellen Jones, Imani Joseph, Leah Keelan, Carter McCombs, Matt McCubbin, Cheryl Ocfemia, Sophia Ocfemia, Ben Ohnemus, Jessica Olson, Meaghan Paetkau, Skye Passmore, Russell Scott, Lauren Tatum, Jake Vielbig, Daniel Yakamoto- Wengel, and YingLing Zhu.

Tony Award recipient Baayork Lee will serve as director and choreographer. Ms. Lee has performed in a dozen Broadway shows and created the role of Connie in "A Chorus Line." As Michael Bennett's assistant choreographer on "A Chorus Line," she has directed and choreographed many national and international companies including Klagenfurt, Austria, Santiago, Chile, Hollywood Bowl, Pace University, and the most recent national tour with stops in Tokyo and Shanghai. Her directing and choreography credits also include: "The King and I" and "Bombay Dreams" (National tours), "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" (NYC Opera), "Barnum" (Australia), "Carmen Jones" (Kennedy Center), "Porgy and Bess" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" (European tours), "Gypsy" and "A New Brain." She has also choreographed shows including "Miss Saigon" (KC Starlight), "Mack and Mabel" (Shaw Festival), "Animal Crackers," "South Pacific" (Helen Hayes nomination), and "Coconuts," "Camelot," and "Damn Yankees" all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Through her nonprofit organization, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), Ms. Lee's vision includes educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent through the many programs the company offers. The organization has produced classical musical theatre shows such as "Oklahoma!," "Carousel," "Hello Dolly!," and "OLIVER!" with all Asian-American casts. NAAP has made audiences more aware that talent goes beyond ethnicity.

Alongside Ms. Lee for "South Pacific" is Resident Music Director Judy Cole, Tony Award winning Set Designer Michael Yeargan, Tony Award winning Costume Designer Catherine Zuber, Lighting Designer Mike Wood, Costume Coordinator Amanda Edgerton West, Wig Designer George Deavours, Sound Designer Steve Kraack, and Production Manager Justin Gamerl.

The glorious score by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II will be brought to life by the 18-piece City Springs Theatre Orchestra led by Conductor Brandt Blocker, who is also the executive/artistic director of City Springs Theatre Company.

All performances are held at The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center's Byers Theatre at 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. For tickets and information call 404-477-4365 or visit

Performance Schedule: March 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, & 17, 2019 Fridays & Saturdays @ 8:00pm, Saturday & Sunday @ 2:00pm



To post a comment, you must register and login.