On a small island in the South Pacific, Nellie Forbush a US Navy nurse, falls somewhat against her better judgement, for a mysterious French planter - a man whose lifestyle couldn't be more different from the conservatism of her own Arkansas background. Meanwhile , Lt Joe Cable arrives to carry out a top-secret plan to spy on the Japanese fleet from behind enemy lines. He is befriended by a Tonkinese trader, Bloody Mary, and soon becomes involved with her beautiful young daughter....Synopsis complet
• Overture – Orchestra
• "Dites-Moi" – Ngana and Jerome
• "A Cockeyed Optimist" – Nellie
• "Twin Soliloquies" – Nellie and Emile
• "Some Enchanted Evening" – Emile
• "Bloody Mary" – Sailors, Seabees and Marines
• "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" – Sailors, Seabees and Marines
• "Bali Ha'i" – Bloody Mary, Billis and Cable
• "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" – Nellie and Nurses
• "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy" – Nellie and Nurses
• "Younger Than Springtime" – Cable
• Finale: Act I ("Some Enchanted Evening") – Emile
• Entr'acte – Orchestra
• Soft shoe dance – Nurses and Seabees
• "Happy Talk" – Bloody Mary
• "Honey Bun" – Nellie and Girls
• "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" – Cable
• "Honey Bun" (reprise) – Billis
• "This Nearly Was Mine" – Emile
• "Some Enchanted Evening" (reprise) – Nellie
• Finale ("Dites-Moi") – Nellie, Ngana, Jerome and Emile
A number of songs were extensively modified, or were omitted, in the weeks leading up to the initial Broadway opening. They are listed in the order of their one-time placement within the show:
• "Bright Canary Yellow", a short song for Nellie and Emile, was placed just before "A Cockeyed Optimist", of which the opening line, "When the sky is a bright canary yellow" was intended to play off of the earlier song.
• "Now Is the Time" (Emile) was placed in the beach scene (Act I, Scene 7) just after Emile tells Nellie why he killed the man in France. It was to be reprised after "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught", but it was felt that for Emile to remain on stage while singing of immediate action was self-contradictory. It was replaced in Act I by a reprise of "Some Enchanted Evening"; in Act II it was initially replaced by "Will You Marry Me?" (later repurposed for Pipe Dream) on March 24, 1949, and then by "This Nearly Was Mine" on March 29, just over a week before the Broadway opening on April 7. "Now Is the Time" was included in the 2001 London revival of the musical.
• "Loneliness of Evening" (Emile) was cut before the Broadway opening. It was to occur in the first backstage scene (Act II, Scene 2) prior to "Happy Talk" and was sung to the same melody as "Bright Canary Yellow". Its melody can be heard in the 1958 film as Emile reads aloud the card with the flowers he has brought backstage for Nellie to the Thanksgiving show; the second stanza was repurposed and sung by the Prince in the 1965 TV production of Cinderella.
• A reprise of "Younger Than Springtime" that follows Cable's rejection of Liat, was added after January 1949. It followed two separate attempts at songs for Cable. One song, designated as "My Friend" was a duet for Cable and Liat, included such lyrics as "My friend, my friend, is coming around the bend" and was rejected by Logan as one of the worst he'd ever heard. Rodgers and Hammerstein's second attempt to place a song there, "Suddenly Lovely", was considered by Logan too lightweight and was later repurposed for The King and I as "Getting to Know You". The melody for "Younger than Springtime" was from a song, "My Wife", intended for Allegro but not used.
• "Honey Bun" was not included in the January 1949 libretto (a note marks that the lyrics will be supplied later).
• "My Girl Back Home" (Cable) preceded "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" in the original score but was cut before the first Broadway production. It appears in the movie version as a duet for Nellie and Cable. It was reinstated for the 2002 London revival, for Cable.
• "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" originally had several singing lines for Emile following the conclusion of the lyrics for Cable.
• ENSIGN NELLIE FORBUSH - By her own admission, a cock-eyed optimist and a hick. She never believed that she would have to make the difficult choice about Emile, but the risk of losing him in action brings everything into sharp focus.
• LUTHER BILLIS - A Seabee who rates himself as a great entrepreneur in the tourist souvenir business, but is constantly outsmarted by Bloody Mary. He is everybody's chum and general help-mate.
• LT. JOSEPH CABLE - Very formal and organised at first, he is thrown into confusion by meeting Liat and the high-risk expedition to find the Japanese outpost is the only way of resolving the inner conflict of racial difference into which he has been plunged.
• CAPT. BRACKET - Rather pompous officer, but seemingly in tune with the local circumstances.
• COMDR. HARBISON - His organised back-up.
• EMILE DE BECQUE - A man of stature and dignity, who realises where his great chance of happiness lies and has to be honest about his past, even if he risks losing all. His taking part in the dangerous mission is proof of another sterling side of his nature.
• BLOODY MARY - Tokinese, shrewd and too much in command of the souvenir trade to be threatened by Billis. She is also a manipulative mother when the occasion (called Lt. Cable) - arises.
• LIAT - A touchingly portrayed little girl in an adult world.
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