Monday, September 30, 2013



The classic musical of "South Pacific" conjures up soft island breezes, coral dotted sands, lush green mountains, swaying coconut palm trees, and bouquets of tropical blossoms as well as endless ocean waves.  For an "enchanted evening," look no further than Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin weekends until Saturday, October 26.

James Michener, the author, wrote a trio of short stories in his 1949 Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific" that were transformed into a musical cited by many as the  finest ever composed for the stage.  The stories selected were two about couples in love during World War II, whose happiness is threatened by beliefs and prejudices, and a third tale about a womanizing but lovable sailor, Luther Billis, whose enterprising ways are a source of humor.  Bobby Schultz as Luther and Kelly Bourque as Bloody Mary deserve special recognition.

This royal treat by Rodgers and Hammerstein, with book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan, is "South Pacific" and it has endured for over six decades.  The main story surrounds a middle-aged French plantation owner Emile de Becque, brought to romantic and charming life by Lenny Fredericks, who meets a young and innocent United States Navy nurse at a club dance.  When he spies Nellie Forbush, the captivating and sweet Kaite Corda, from Little Rock, Arkansas across a crowded room, it is love at first sight. The secondary love story concerns a Marine Lieutenant Joe Cable, a committed and strong Chris Pearson, who comes to the island to carry out a dangerous mission spying on the Japanese and becomes spellbound by a lovely Tonkinese girl Liat, played by Sandra Lee.  The bigotry both Nellie and Joe experience is revealed in the sensitive song "You've Got to be Carefully Taught."

Some of the other beautiful tunes that have come out of this production include "This Nearly Was Mine," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Bali Ha'i," "Younger Than Springtime" and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy."  Lighthearted tunes include "Happy Talk," "Bloody Mary," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," "There's Nothing Like a Dame" and "Honey Bun."

The stories are woven into a wonderful tapestry that is guaranteed to please, especially with Joey Rebeschi and Kelly Rina Bergland portraying de Becque's children, as well as Dave Wall as Captain Brackett, Gene Coppa and Russell Fish sharing the role of Harbison, William Mosakluk as Buzz, Chris Brooks as Stewpot, James J. Moran as Quale, Ashley Ayala as Janet, Jessica E. Rubin as Dinah and Erika Lee Pocock as Marianne.  A creative Kris McMurray puts this large energetic cast through its paces with military precision.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Bring snacks to share at your table or buy desserts and drinks at the concession stand on site.  On Saturday, October 26 at 3 p.m., watch for a special event: "Here's Killing You, Kid," a  unique murder mystery in the style of Humphrey Bogart and "Casablanca."  Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for a 3 p.m. curtain, for $30.

Let this magical musical transport you to an island in the  Pacific and be prepared to sway in those tropical breezes of romance.

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