‘South Pacific’ revival coming to Merrill Auditorium

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PORTLAND — NETworks Presentations will bring its new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “South Pacific,” to Merrill Auditorium.

The play, put on by Portland Ovations, will be staged at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 18.

This  new production is based on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production, which won seven Tony Awards, including Best Direction of a Musical by Bartlett Sher, Best Lighting Design of a Musical by Portland Stages’ Donald Holder and Best Revival of a Musical.

Based on James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Tales of the South Pacific,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” is set on a tropical island during World War II. The musical tells the romantic story of two couples — U.S. Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French plantation owner Emile de Becque, and Navy Airman Joe Cable and Liat, a young local native girl — and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and their own prejudices.

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The score’s songs include such classics as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “Bali Ha’i,” “There is Nothin’ Like A Dame,” “This Nearly Was Mine” and “A Wonderful Guy.”

Ovations Offstage will present a preperformance lecture, “Issues of Race in Musical Theater,” at 1 p.m. on March 17 in Room 24 at Merrill. Gretchen Berg,  director of Ovations Offstage, will discuss questions of race raised in Broadway musicals such as “Showboat,” “Hairspray,” “South Pacific” and “Avenue Q.”

For tickets, $50 to $65, call PortTix at 842-0800, visit the box office window at Merrill or log on to www.portlandovations.org.

NETworks Presentations’ production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “South Pacific,” will be staged in mid-March at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium. The new production is based on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production, which won seven Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

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