Friday, April 4, 2008

The NY Times gives local boy, Bartlett Sher's revival of South Pacific a rave review

Amazingly, this is the FIRST revival of South Pacific since its original run.

Love blossoms fast and early in Bartlett Sher’s rapturous revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” which opened Thursday at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. And while you may think, “But this is so sudden,” you don’t doubt for a second that it’s the real thing.

and Ben Brantley goes on to rave:
I know we’re not supposed to expect perfection in this imperfect world, but I’m darned if I can find one serious flaw in this production. (Yes, the second act remains weaker than the first, but Mr. Sher almost makes you forget that.)

The picture caption: Matthew Morrison as Lt Cable and Li Jun Li as Liat
The photo credit is: Sara Krulwich/The NY Times

I have to say, I've never seen a live stage production of South Pacific; done the ok movie and a very entertaining concert version on PBS with Reba McIntyre last year but somehow I've missed seeing any high school/college/community theater/summer stock versions of this, which is odd because I've seen just about every major musical at some point. The music is gorgeous but the story has always seemed a little heavy handed to me. Brantley's rave review implies that Sher pulls off the difficult task of staging a work that's of a very specific time and place and making it relevant to contemporary audiences without damaging the context of the piece.

It seems obvious that Sher is going to get more and more New York based work due to all his recent successes there.

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