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DTC stages an "Enchanting" SOUTH PACIFIC
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By Greer Firestone
Playwright of a new musical JUDY GARLAND - World's Greatest Entertainer. This show is a takeoff of the '70's tv show THIS IS YOUR LIFE. But Judy's guests are Liza, Frank and ...
Aisle Say

Playwright of a new musical JUDY GARLAND - World's Greatest Entertainer. This show is a takeoff of the '70's tv show THIS IS YOUR LIFE. But Judy's guests are Liza, Frank and Dean. The 4 of them sing their signature tunes. Opening in April 2015

CANDLELIGHT THEATRE: April 24,25,26 & May 1,2,3 302.475.2313

baby grand Mother's Day May 10 matinee and evening performance (Mom loved Judy, Frank & Dean)  800.37.Grand

The Milton (DE) Theatre May 16 302.684.3038


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By Greer Firestone
April 17, 2013 11:17 a.m.

Relationships develop quickly during WWII in the SOUTH PACIFIC. In scene one within nano seconds Sarah Litzsinger (Nellie Forbush) falls madly in love with the elegant (and older man) Michael Sharon (Emile DeBecque). He is equally twitter patted by this cockeyed optimist from Arkansas. Next, Christopher deProphetis (Lt. Cable) meets the lovely Tonkinese girl Stephanie Walters (Liat). Pyrotechnics! They are sharing a bunk bed that night! So it can be said that life is truncated in both war and musical theatre.
This is DTC's first full blown Broadway musical in this their 34th season. Executive Director Bud Martin continues his premiere year here in introducing Wilmington audiences to actors with major Broadway chops. Litzsinger, for example, has appeared on the great White Way with the iconic Patti Lupone and sang Evita in a production directed by Hal Prince, another deity.
Martin is flourishing in his mission to make Delaware a World Class state and the sold out opening night house showed their appreciation with a Standing O.
It is a tale of discrimination accompanied by glorious songs. I recall a tv bio of Oscar Hammerstein wherein he spoke to the challenges of the show. South Pacific opened in 1949, a long long time ago relative to racial prejudice. The lyricist struggled with his backers to include the song "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught". While we realize society has not achieved parity, the issues between Nellie and Emile and Cable and Liat seem almost quaint today. Stage and screen roles today are generally race neutral. Director Martin acknowledges this by casting two African American kids as Emile's mixed race children.
The voices of the leading characters are superb, most especially Sharon's Emile ( "Some Enchanted Evening" + "This Nearly Was Mine") and Amy Jo Phillips' (Bloody Mary) "Bali Ha'i"
The singers were backed by a 14 piece orchestra, another precedent for the Company. Either DTC invested in a new sound system or Sound Designer Josh Liebert and Sound Engineer Stacy Slocum worked overtime. It was terrific and nary a syllable was missed.
Further 'enchanting' is to see home town hero Sonny Leo as choreographer. The dancing was nowhere near a complimentary member of the 'cast' as in past productions. Aisle Say has seen Sonny's work over many decades and neither his potential nor his creativity was maximized. Oh, Luther Billis' bra? Both Ray Walton in the movie and John O'Toole at Candlelight Dinner Theatre always wore two cocoanut shells. A small bit, true, but one that resulted in multitudinous chuckles. I'm still trying to figure out what this Billis was wearing.
Through May 5 DelawareTheatre.org 302.594.1100

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