South Pacific has hit the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines and will continue to please crowds now through Sunday, May 23. Last night was the opening night for the show and the theatre was packed full of excited fans ready to be immersed in the magic of Bali Ha’i and the antics of the islanders, Seabee’s and nurses.
South Pacific tells the tale of two couples – Emile de Becque, a French plantation owner and Ensign Nellie Forbush, a U.S. Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Lt. Joseph Cable, of the U.S. Marine Corps and Liat, a native islander – whose relationships are put under cultural and wartime pressures. The story is based upon author James Michener’s book, “Tales of the South Pacific,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948.
Although I may be slightly biased, (I played the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush my senior year at Dowling Catholic High School) I would argue that South Pacific is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most well-written musical productions. Songs such as: “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There Is Nothing Like A Dame,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” and “A Wonderful Guy,” are sure to keep the audiences’ toes tapping throughout the show. The great part about the Civic Center’s production of the show was the fact that the music was played by a full 25 member orchestra – 20 of those members being from Central Iowa. This gave a full, lively sound to the well-written scores.
My personal favorites of the show were Bloody Mary, played by Keala Settle, Lt. Joseph Cable, played by Anderson Davis, and Stewpot (George Watts) played by Genson Blimline. Settle brought life and laugher onto the stage with her sarcastic comments and strong will, Davis’s voice stole the show (man, he has some great pipes) and Blimline added a sharp, comedic attitude to the mix. Overall, the entire cast of characters were very well cast in their roles.
After seeing the show on opening night I can confidently say that the show brought laughter, big personalities, great music and life to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. It’s a must see!
Get your tickets today by visiting the Civic Center’s website. After you see South Pacific, make sure you let me know what you thought of the show!