Theatre Mirror Reviews - "South Pacific"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"South Pacific"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

North End Players' current show is Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical "South Pacific". The well known story of innocent, young, Navy Ensign Nellie Forbush falling in love with middle-aged French plantation owner. Emile De Becque during World War II. It also contains the secondary story of Lt. Joe Cable falling in love with a Tokinese girl, Liat, the daughter of Bloody Mary, the saleswoman of island wares. The prejudice of people against each other is as important a message now as it was back in the 1940's. Throw in assorted sailors, nurses, two children and two officers and you have the necessary ingredients for this well made musical presentation.

Directors Lynn Nadrowski and Frank O'Donnell assemble a wonderful cast to pull off these roles while musical director Brian Mullaney accompanies the cast on the keyboards while Lisa Calkins taught all the harmonies of the songs to the cast. Lisa is also terrifc as Nellie. She is a pretty red head who not only has a beautiful singing voice but is wonderful as the wide-eyed hick who sees life in this exotic place for the first time. Her songs include "A Cock-eyed Optimist", "Wash That Man", "Wonderful Guy" and "Honey Bun" Bill Beatini does a wonderful job as the middle-aged French planter who falls in love with Nellie. His songs include "Some Enchanted Evening'' and "This Nearly Was Mine". Lynn does double duty in the show as director and plays the comic role of Bloody Mary. She garners many laughs with her funny one liners and gets to sing the lovely "Bali Hai" and the comic "Happy Talk". Willie Beatini is splendid as Joe Cable. His tenor voice soars off the charts in "Younger Than Springtime" and "You've Got to Be Taught". His lover, Liat is played by Jessica Morris.

Crusty Captain Brackett who keeps his men in line is played by veteran actor, Carl Desimone while second in command, Commander Harbison is well played by Bobby Ricci. They both show off their singing voices in "Nothing Like A Dame". One of the biggest scene stealers in this show is John Morris as Luther Billis. His devious salesman and womanizer shows through and his "Honey Bun" outfit is a hoot. His two sidekicks Stewpot and Professor are well played by Billy Flynn and George Paquin while the two children played by Siara Padilla and Kyle Ross are cute as buttons. Kudos to everyone who makes this into a wonderful show. Have a terrific run.

"South Pacific" (29 September - 6 October)
NORTH END PLAYERS
North Providence High School, 1828 Mineral Spring Avenue, NORTH PROVIDENCE RI
1 (401) 722-7800

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