Put a song in your step
South Pacific comes to Scranton Cultural Center
If ever there was a musical that encompasses both the strength and beauty of the human experience, it is South Pacific. The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is coming to the Scranton Cultural Center on March 23-25.
Based on James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book, Tales of the South Pacific, the musical is set on an island U.S. Navy base during World War II, and tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices.
This latest revival of the beloved classic is based on the 2008 Tony-Award winning Lincoln Center Theater Production and stars Chicago-based actress Jennie Sophia as “Cock-eyed optimist,” Nellie Forbush.
Sophia recently spoke to us about this particular reincarnation of the classic musical. She believes that one of this show’s major strengths is the director.
She worked with director Sarna Lapine, who served as an assistant and apprentice to the Lincoln Center Production’s director, Bartlett Sher. “She (Lapine) is just an incredibly smart woman who understands actors and lets us live in the story.”
And its story is one of South Pacific’s great draws. “The show is just packed with such amazing moments,” said Sophia. “It’s about overcoming obstacles, seeing a piece of history, and of course, there is this great love story,” she said.
Sophia believes South Pacific is a must see for anyone who has served or has loved ones serving in the military. “What is different about the Lincoln Center production and therefore our production,” she said, “is that it is really aimed at historical accuracy.”
But if military history isn’t your thing, don’t worry. South Pacific offers something for everyone. “Don’t forget about the music,” Sophia added. “There is such beautiful music in this show.”
South Pacific is known for having some of the greatest songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue, such as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” and “Happy Talk.”
Sophia and her fellow cast and crew are also excited to visit the Electric City. “We will definitely be checking out Scranton,” she said. So watch closely, Scrantonians, when you’re cozying up to that bar — you just may be sitting next to the next big Broadway star.
— amye archer
South Pacific will be presented at the Scranton Cultural Center at 420 N. Washington Ave. all weekend, with shows Friday, March 23, 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 24, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 25, 1 and 6 p.m. Tickets start at $39 and are on sale now. Get yours at the Scranton Cultural Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or over the phone at 800-745-3000 or 342-7784.