Monday, June 16, 2008

Broadway Monday

South Pacific
South Pacific is the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about the lives of U.S. military men, nurses and the residents of the Polynesian island they occupy during WW II. The 1949 musical—the first show that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein produced as well as wrote—played to an estimated three and a half million people. It was the second-ever musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.The cast album was the No. 1 album for sixty-nine consecutive weeks.
I picked South Pacific for this week's Broadway Monday for a few reasons. Those reasons being: the central story is pertinent even today as our nation finds itself in the grips of racial tension and war once again; although I am writing this a full 24 hours prior to the Tony Awards, I feel very confident that this revival will win so it should be featured; and the music from this show speaks for itself. Anytime an original cast makes it to the point of recording the music for the show, as a consumer there is a bit of crossing-your-fingers and hoping that the producers took the time, and made it good. No fear in South Pacific's case. This is an absolutely spectacular recording complete with rich, full orchestrations, and voices that send chills. I always knew the score was spectacular, but this version is totally wow. You may be surprised to find that you know a lot of the music yourself. Do yourself a favor and visit iTunes or Amazon for samples.

South Pacific is currently playing at the Lincoln Center Theatre.

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