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South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening

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adamgreer
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South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#1
Posted: 3/16/08 at 10:01pm
So, as much as I enjoyed the Sunday revival, I think this is a better production, and if I were a Tony voter (which I most surely am not), this would probably get my vote.

A brief note...I have never seen a live production of South Pacific before last night. I didn't see the movie, or the TV movie. I am somewhat familiar with the score, and all I knew of the plot was that it dealt with racism in the Pacific islands during World War II. So, I was pretty much a South Pacific virgin.

This was a nearly perfect production. I have to start with the absolutely exquisite lighting design, which will, without a doubt, win the Tony. It was sheer brilliance, as was the sound design, which was so good because you could not even tell it was miked. Very well blended.

The cast was mostly phenomenal. Kelli O'Hara, who bored me in Piazza is full of energy here. She appeared to be really enjoying herself, and displayed a great deal of charisma (something I felt she lacked in other roles). Ditto for Paulo Szot, whose voice is incredible. The two had a great deal of chemistry together.

Other than the two leads, my favorite cast member was Matthew Morrison, who I thought was a wonderful Cable. My lone quibble with cast members was Danny Burstein, who while ok, seemed to resort to the schtick he used in Drowsy Chaperone. It was like he was pulling out his old bag of tricks.

The book is very strong, and I love how the tension builds as the show goes on. My only problem is with the ending, which seems rather abrupt. The score, of course, is like one hit song after another. The choreography was fine, though for some reason, dancing soldiers always make me chuckle.

The big star of the show, though, is the 30 piece orchestra! Kudos to Lincoln Center for springing for them. They sounded great, and it is a little sad to think that I'll probably never hear a 30 piece orchestra at a Broadway musical again.

Overall, this is a fantastic production, and I highly recommend it.
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Steve2
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#2
Posted: 3/17/08 at 2:33pm
Thanks for taking the time to write this!
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WithoutATrace
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#2
Posted: 3/17/08 at 2:47pm
Thanks for this review. I am thrilled that you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I agree it should win for best lighting design. Just brilliant!
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DottieD'Luscia
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#3
Posted: 3/17/08 at 3:21pm
When I saw the show on Friday night, I had the opposite reaction to Danny Burstein. I thought he was completely different than he was in Drowsey Chaperone. I liked his take on Billis.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
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broadwayfan7
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#4
Posted: 3/17/08 at 3:35pm
Thanks for your review! Glad you had fun!
"Everytime you step on that stage it is somebody's first Broadway show and somebody's last Broadway show. Make it count."
jrb
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#5
Posted: 3/17/08 at 5:50pm
According to folks in the cast, the audiences are picking up in size and energy - as reflected in the weekly grosses.
Perhaps it's due in part to college breaks and such, but I think it's also emblematic of a certain buzz being created around the production.
All reports say it's really coming together and there are still a couple of weeks left in the preview period. Can't wait for SoPac and SunPark to hit the ring. It's going to be a tough one.
ctkathy
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#6
Posted: 3/20/08 at 11:51pm

And it was nice to see John Lithgow and Brian Williams in the audience.

The revival was strong. Voices were really great overall and wonderful to see the 30 piece orchestra. Such a treat. Agree the ending was abrupt.
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shh282
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#7
Posted: 3/21/08 at 12:22am
Thanks for writing this- my mom is encouraging me to see it and i'm not gritting my teeth as much after reading this! [ not that I was before it just wasn't on my list. ]
RentBoy86
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#8
Posted: 3/21/08 at 12:23am
The revival Tony is going to be tough. I still think Sunday is better ( I haven't seen South Pacific, I'll admit), but I think Sunday is the better show, and Jenna Russell is brillant.
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MusicAndPassion
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re: South Pacific review- 3/15/08-evening#9
Posted: 3/21/08 at 12:38am
South Pacific is amazing! I really hope it extends like The Light in the Piazza did. Honestly a run of a little more than 2 months is ridiculous for a hit show that hasn't been on Broadway in over 50 years.
LePetiteFromage
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#10
Posted: 3/21/08 at 12:41am
Updated On: 5/7/09 at 12:41 AM