Saturday, February 20, 2010
Show #7 "South Pacific" at 5th Avenue Theater
For over 35 years, this has been my favorite musical. Ever.
I have dreamed of being in it ever since I first saw my older brother featured in a high school production of it. I listened to the soundtrack every chance I got. I can still sing every verse of every song.
I have auditioned for it twice over the past decade. Both times I was turned down.
I grew up listening to and dreaming about almost all of the Rodgers and Hammerstein shows. In my pre-adolescent mind, to have the privilege of performing in one of their shows was the next best thing to heaven itself.
Over the years, I have performed in local productions of "The Sound of Music," "The King & I" and will soon start rehearsals for "Flower Drum Song."
But "South Pacific" has been (pardon the expression) my "Bali Hai." You know, the elusive, magical island that beckons my name. But unlike the mythical island in the show, it doesn't sing, "Here am I, come to me," it only says, "Thank you for your audition, but unfortunately, we won't be able to use you for this production...."
Bartlett Sher's Tony Award-winning revival that breezed into town this month at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater, was everything this wonderful show was meant to be. I was entranced. I was mesmerized. I was in musical theatre heaven.
In fact, I was almost able to excuse the elderly lady in the seat next to me who hummed along to all the songs annoyingly off-key. Almost.
I can't say I totally blame her for her breach of theatre etiquette. I had to remind myself not to sing along to all those endearing, familiar tunes as well.
Perhaps I am pre-disposed to loving just about any production of "South Pacific." I adore the show that much. I have seen this show many times, but this is the first Broadway production of this show I have been to. Yes, the big budget certainly helped. The costumes, set design, Equity actors and full orchestra added to the magic.
But even a small community theatre or high school drama company can make magic. The beautiful story of love and loss, the gorgeous scenery and costumes and the incomparable score by R & H will cast a spell on me anytime.
With enough magic and lots of dreaming, maybe someone will cast a spell on a director who will put me in a production of my favorite musical one day.
Hey...it could happen.