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“South Pacific” Reviewed by Richard A. Eisenhardt

April 20, 2018 at 4:39 PM

Original Article:

   “South Pacific,” was at the then Shubert Theatre on Monroe Street, where it now has changed its name several times and is now the CIBC Theatre where “Hamilton” is still running.

I saw South Pacific at the Shubert when my parents took me and this the show that got me hooked on the theatre!  I was fifteen years old and my father had returned from the Philippines and New Guinea as World War II was ending.  This Rodgers and Hammerstein Tony award-winning musical starred Janet Blair and Richard Eastham.  I fell in love with Janet Blair and Eastham I have seen in roles on Perry Mason.  Len Dresslar played Lt. Cable and remained in Chicago in the fifteen minute television show “In Town Tonight,” hosted by Jim Conway.

“South Pacific,” rarely gets a production in Chicago but Kyle DeSantis and William Ostshek have a major hit with this production which has a book by Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan.

The play has been adapted from James Michner’s ‘Tale of the South Pacific,’ and is being directed by Victor Malana Maog and choreography is by Otis Sallid.  Musical direction is by Roberta Duchak.

The cast is fantastic with Robert Cuccioli as Emile de Becque, Samantha Hill as Nellie Forbush, Austin Colby as Lt. Cable, Yvonne Strumeckias as Bloody Mary, Matt Crowle as Luther Bill and Sarah Lo as Liat.  These are some of the major leads in the cast of twenty-eight.

You’ll hear songs like “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” “Bali Hai,” the beautiful, “This Nearly Was Mine,” “A Wonderful Guy,” as well as many other wonderful songs.  The show is brave enough to present race, patriotism and loss to the audience.

Like most musicals when this was first produced, it runs two hours and forty-five minutes and the time flies by.  It is a show I will never tire of seeing.

Many issues today are still as relevant as at the time this was produced.

“South Pacific,” runs through June 17th.  For show days, show times, and reservations call 630-530-0111 or 800-745-3000.  Tickets are $47 to $62.  There is loads of free parking as well as valet.  The theatre has handicapped seating.  The food, if you choose to eat in the main dining room, is first rate and reasonable.

-Four Stars-