“I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into spray, and inner lagoons, lovely beyond description.”
So begins James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” the book which was the inspirational source of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “South Pacific.”
The challenge of this musical was to combine visual beauty with the horror of war while sprinkling in elements of romantic comedy.
The Riverside Center for the Performing Arts production, masterfully directed by and choreographed by Penny Ayn Maas and produced by Patrick A’Hearn, succeeds in weaving these delicate threads of the music together and is complemented with an outstanding cast and brilliant singing and musical numbers.
Riverside Center for the Performing Arts presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The winner of multiple Tony awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, South Pacific continues to charm audiences seventy years after its debut. Penny Ayn Maas directs and choreographs a powerhouse cast for this beloved production.
One enchanted evening many years ago (seventy, to be exact) Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein opened their mint new musical, “South Pacific”, for its New Haven and Boston previews. The response was immediate and enthusiastic… Riverside Center’s just-opened production scores where it counts most in this tale of two non-traditional love affairs and war in the Pacific. Central to the conflict are one middle-aged Frenchman with the mysterious past, Emile de Becque, and his much younger love interest, the Arkansas-bred nurse, Ensign Nellie Forbush. Around them swirl issues of Japanese invasion, high jinks among the sailors, and a separate, doomed love affair with further racial implications.
When “South Pacific” first débuted on Broadway, it was an immediate hit.
That was in 1949, pulling on the reflective heartstrings of audiences who had World War II fresh on their minds.
Flash forward to today: While WWII is long gone, many of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical’s poignant messages still hit home. The show owns the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts stage through Sept. 15.
Riverside Center for the Performing Arts is excited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific with its new production in Fredericksburg, VA. The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic – which premiered in 1949 – did not have a revival until the 2008 Lincoln Center production (which, like its predecessor, won multiple Tony Awards®). Several of its songs, including “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” “Happy Talk,” and “I’m In Love with a Wonderful Guy” have become popular standards.
RICHMOND, Va - Riverside Center for The Performing Arts features many great productions during the year. Their latest musical offering is “South Pacific” that creates a story during World War 2 that is filled with laughter, sorrow, and thought-provoking moments. Producing Artistic Director Patrick A’Hearn along with actors Branch Fields and Kate Marshall stop by CBS6’s Virginia This Morning for a brief interview and a musical performance.
Listen to Penny Ayn Maas (Director & Choreographer) preview our upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific at Riverside alongside director and Riverside Center's Producing Artistic Director, Patrick A'Hearn and Town Talk's Ted Schubel (NewsTalk 1230 WFVA).
They fancy themselves a dangerous lot, but the grim list of killed and captured by the Pirates of Penzance is…nonexistent. Their job is to be fierce and take hostages, but somehow - dash it all! – the hostages always turn out to be orphans! And being orphans themselves, they just can’t take ungentlemanly advantage. That means our pirates are no more successful now in 2019 than they were back in 1879. That’s when this Gilbert and Sullivan jewel first held audiences captive with its rapier wit, and it’s been swashing its buckles ever since.
Three cannon shots of congratulation to Riverside for staging this gold nugget and doing it justice. In a whimsical modification, director Catherine Flye has renamed this the “Rascals of the Rappahannock” and brought the pirates to Fredericksburg in the time of George III, as opposed to the Victorian era Cornwall coast.