LIAT (SANDRA LEE) AND JOE CABLE (CHRIS PEARSON) IN "SOUTH PACIFIC"
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
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 www.ctcabaret.com.
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with doors opening at
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.