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  South Pacific at The Kennedy Center

South Pacific

The Kennedy Center
2700 F Street, NW Washington

Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, South Pacific is a window into the excitement and hardships of the 1940s, when happiness was threatened by prejudice as much as the realities of conflict. Directed by 2008 Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, this classic is reinvented by Lincoln Center Theater to be a musical that retains all the fun and weight of the original. With a cast of 34 and an orchestra of 26 members, South Pacific includes popular songs such as "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," and "There is Nothin' Like a Dame."

Thru - Jan 16, 2011

Price: $39-$150

Stage: Opera House

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  South Pacific Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Highly Recommended

"...Few things in life sound better than "South Pacific." And few "South Pacifics" have sounded as good as the deeply pleasurable revival bivouacked in the Kennedy Center Opera House for the holidays."
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Peter Marks

Washington Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...Richard Rodgers' music for "South Pacific" is among the most brilliant ever written for theater. The 26-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Goldberg, does it more than justice. Coupled with Hammerstein's brilliant lyrics, this "South Pacific" offers more than an enchanted evening: it creates an outstanding new vision of a masterpiece."
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Barbara Mackay

DCist - Highly Recommended

"...Much of South Pacific exudes that same zesty sense of fun, whether it be the energetic, acrobatic ensemble of military men convincing us "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame", or the comic interplay between those Seabees and Bloody Mary, always a scene-stealing role, given a commanding take by Jodi Kimura. But there's a melancholy mystery to this South Pacific as well; when Kimura sings of the whispering, beckoning nearby island, "Bali Ha'i", you'll be right there with her, picturing its charms."
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Missy Frederick

MetroWeekly - Recommended

"...What sets South Pacific apart in the vast American mythology that is the WWII romance, is that Nellie (Carmen Cusack) is the commissioned officer and the sweetheart standing about pining is Emile (David Pittsinger), a French civilian plantation owner on the Polynesian island where Ensign Forbush and her company are stationed. Nellie and Emile have fallen instantly and madly in love with one another, ever since the ''enchanted evening'' where Emile spotted Nellie ''across a crowded room.""

Tom Avila

City Paper - Somewhat Recommended

"...What’s missing, alas, is the energy and spark that was so celebrated at the Vivian Beaumont. Maybe it’s some elusive chemistry the principals haven’t recaptured; maybe it’s the barn-wide Kennedy Center Opera House, or the way the staging, originally offered with the audience on three sides, has been reframed to play behind a proscenium arch, leaving patrons at more of distance. (It’s worth noting that Sher earlier negotiated that hurdle handsomely with his touring remount of The Light in the Piazza, which was every bit as lovely here as it was in New York.) Whatever the cause, South Pacific simply feels a little sleepy now and again."
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Trey Graham

Washington Times - Highly Recommended

"...As always, South Pacific is at its best with a first-rate cast. Fortunately, this one fits the bill in large part. Dominating the show, at least in this reviewer’s opinion, is David Pittsinger as Emile de Becque. Emile is in many ways the most operatic role ever written for a Broadway musical—due perhaps in part to the fact that it was originally crafted for opera singer Ezio Pinza in the show’s original production."
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Terry Ponick

Fairfax Times - Highly Recommended

"...Rogers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific," the show that tells a story of two romances darkened by racial prejudice and the tragedy of war, opened on Broadway in 1949 and ran there for almost five years. And it's not like the work went unnoticed -- it won a Pulitzer Prize and 10 Tony awards, including Best Musical, Best Director and all four acting awards."
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David Hoffman

Washington Blade - Highly Recommended

"...Seeing – and more importantly hearing — the touring production of Bartlett Sher’s celebrated revival of “South Pacific” at the Kennedy Center Opera House makes it easy to understand why the seminal Rodgers and Hammerstein musical originally set Broadway on its ear in 1949. Its glorious standard-filled score remains a triumph."
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Patrick Folliard

DCTheatreScene - Highly Recommended

We’re seeing America at a crossroads moment, ready to explode onto the world stage without knowing the world well, bringing our brash energy and old prejudices into the rest of the world. Those are all critical elements in the romance of Emile and Nellie. These two—at least as personified in words, attitude and song by Pittsinger and Forbush—are not just flirting, this isn’t a coy dance, but the beginning of a life-changing, earth-shaking love affair, deep, and passionate down to the toe, head and heart fully engaged.
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Gary Tischler

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