It will be “Some Enchanted Evening” at West Shore Community College when the performing arts series performs Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “South Pacific—In Concert,” in June.
Dr. Rick Plummer is casting the iconic musical as his “swan song” production after 18 years as professor of theater and director of the arts series. Auditions are Sunday, May 3, 2-5 p.m., and Monday, May 4, 6-9 p.m., both at Center Stage Theater on the campus.
Plummer will be joined in his last WSCC production by Ted Malt as music director and Jaime Lynn Pepple as vocal coach/accompanist. They are looking for 17 men, 9 women, and two 12 – 13 year old children, a boy and a girl.
Plummer adds this is the concert version of the famous play. While there is costuming and acting, there will be limited choreography, with the emphasis on singing.
The score is a virtual list of perennial show tune favorites, says Malt, with “Cockeyed Optimist,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” Bloody Mary,” “There Ain’t Nothin’ Like a Dame,” “Bali Hai,” “Wonderful Guy,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Happy Talk,” “Honey Bun,” “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught,” and “This Nearly Was Mine” topping the list.
The tale of “South Pacific” is as fascinating as the tales that inspired it. When legendary Broadway director Joshua Logan first suggested the idea of doing a musical based on James Michener’s collection of short stories, “Tales of the South Pacific,” to producer Leland Hayward, Hayward immediately saw its possibilities. The rest is, as they say, history.
By the time it opened on Broadway “South Pacific” was already legendary, the major theatrical event of Broadway in its golden era. Astonishingly, this was one musical that not only managed to meet its hype, but actually to top it. “Magnificent,” cheered Brooks Atkison in the “New York Times.”
“South Pacific” received the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and, for the first time, the committee included a composer (Richard Rodgers) in the drama prize. It received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a Grammy Award and countless other accolades. For years, the second-longest running show in Broadway history (right behind “Oklahoma!”), it has proven itself a classic in countless productions around the world and on the silver screen, where Rossani Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor took audiences to the enchanted South Pacific.
The story of “South Pacific” is a love story set during WWII. Nellie Forbush, a young Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, meets and falls in love with a gallant, middle-aged Frenchman, Emile de Becque. Young Lt. Joe Cable falls for the daughter of a local Polynesian wheeler-dealer named Bloody Mary, and sailor con-artist Luther Billis and his shipmates sing about “dames,” while nurses sing about “washing men out of their hair.”
Pepple says that those auditioning do not need to prepare anything but simply come ready to sing from the score and read from the script.
For additional information about the auditions or the production, call Plummer 843-5928, or email him at email@example.com.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement