South Pacific at the Opera House. This was a first for us as it was the first time we have seen a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and the first time we've seen a performance at the Opera House. We booked the cheap seats on the wing which have a slightly limited view but not so much as to impede our enjoyment of the show but as the theatre wasn't completely full a kindly usher moved us to better seats for the second half.
As for the musical itself well in short I loved it! South Pacific is based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific and was a quite controversial musical when it first opened in 1949 due to its main theme of overcoming racism.
The plot centers on an American nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A secondary romance, between a U.S. lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman, explores his fears of the social consequences should he marry his Asian sweetheart. The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, most controversially in the lieutenant's song, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught". Supporting characters, including a comic petty officer and the Tonkinese girl's mother, help to tie the stories together
This new production has put a whole new life into Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic production. The staging, production and costumes are stunning and the cast are simply stellar. Lisa McCune makes a fantastic Nellie. Teddy Tahu Rhodes brings real gravitas to the role of Emile and I adore his wonderfully operatic voice. Gyton Grantley was a real surprise for me. Having only seen him in underbelly as Carl Williams I was impressed by his acting and singing abilities in the role of Billis. He brought great moments of comic relief to a musical filled with controversial themes.
And of course I can't go without talking about the amazing costumes. Here are a few shots from the show: