mon 18/12/2017

Q&A Special: On Recreating South Pacific | reviews, news & interviews

Q&A Special: On Recreating South Pacific

Q&A Special: On Recreating South Pacific

The director, choreographer and musical director of the New York hit explain why the show still works

Bloody Mary is the one they love: Loretta Ables Sayre and the Seabees of 'South Pacific'

It was early in 1949. South Pacific, the follow-up to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s huge wartime hit Carousel, had entered the try-out phase before hitting New York. Late one night the production team were deep in one of those 11th-hour how-do-we-make-it-better meetings that always precede the launch of a new musical. Eventually the composer Richard Rodgers cut to the chase. “Fellas,” he said, “this show is perfect. Let’s go to bed.”


The Metropolitan Opera had nothing to do with this, it's just Lincoln Center's production. And the politician who opposed Humphrey's liberal platform on race at the convention was Strom Thurmond, not Tom Thurman [corrected. Ed]. And did Bart Sher really say:"We began to explore issues of race and economic equality. That was part of the culture of the time. Rodgers and Hammerstein were good Jews but they were always trying to look for ways to research and include more complex topics in musicals." "Good Jews" really? That doesn't even make sense in that sentence, why would he even say that? Did you misunderstand him?

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters