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South Pacific (1949)

Compositeur: Richard Rodgers

Parolier: Oscar Hamerstein II

Librettiste: Joshua Logan • Oscar Hamerstein II

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

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

 

Historique du musical

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Act I
• 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

Act II
• 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

Additional songs
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.

Liste des rôles

• 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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Génèse

  Background 

  Inception 

  Composition 

  Casting & pre-Bway runs 

  Creation 

 

Versions du musical

Versions majeures de South Pacific

Version 1

South Pacific (1949-03-Shubert Theatre-New Heaven) (Pre-Broasway Try Out)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 07 mars 1949
Première : lundi 07 mars 1949
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

South Pacific (1949-04-Broadway Run) (Original)
Durée : 4 ans 9 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 1925 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 07 avril 1949
Première : jeudi 07 avril 1949
Dernière : samedi 16 janvier 1954
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

South Pacific (1949-04-Broadway Run-Majestic Theatre) (Original)
Durée : 4 ans 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 07 avril 1949
Première : jeudi 07 avril 1949
Dernière : samedi 16 mai 1953
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
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Version 4

South Pacific (1950-04-US Tour) (US Tour)
Durée : 4 ans 12 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : samedi 01 avril 1950
Première : samedi 01 avril 1950
Dernière : samedi 26 mars 1955
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
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Version 5

South Pacific (1951-11-Drury Lane Theatre-London) (Original London)
Durée : 1 an 11 mois
Nombre : 802 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 01 novembre 1951
Première : jeudi 01 novembre 1951
Dernière : samedi 26 septembre 1953
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie : Joshua Logan
Avec : Mary Martin (Nellie Forbush), Wilbur Evans (Emile), Peter Grant (Lt. Cable), Muriel Smith (Bloody Mary) Ray Walston (Luther), Ivor Emmanuel (Sgt Johnson), Betta St John (Liat) . (Mary Martin’s real-life son, Larry Hagman, played a small role in the show.)
Commentaires :
Based on two of the stories from James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific”, both of which showed the power of love to break down racial barriers, this was considered controversial material in the USA of 1949. The London production initially received rather cool notices - and was nicknamed “South Soporific” by one critic. It was felt to be a very poor second to “Oklahoma”. However, audiences disagreed and the show became a great success. After completing a year’s run, Mary Martin left and was replaced with Julie Wilson. At a later point in its long run, Sean Connery took over in one of the chorus roles. “South Pacific” was only revived in London in 1988.
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Version 6

South Pacific (1953-06-Broadway Run-Broadway Theatre) (Original)
Durée : 6 mois 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 29 juin 1953
Première : lundi 29 juin 1953
Dernière : samedi 16 janvier 1954
Mise en scène : Joshua Logan
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
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Version 7

South Pacific (1955-05-City Center-New York) (Revival)
Durée : 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 04 mai 1955
Première : mercredi 04 mai 1955
Dernière : dimanche 15 mai 1955
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
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Version 8

South Pacific (1988-01-Prince of Wales Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée : 12 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : mercredi 20 janvier 1988
Première : mercredi 20 janvier 1988
Dernière : samedi 14 janvier 1989
Mise en scène : Roger Redfarn
Chorégraphie :
Avec : Gemma Craven (Nellie Forbush), Emile Belcourt (Emile),
Andrew C. Wadsworth (Lt. Cable), Bertice Reading (Bloody Mary)
Johnny Wade (Luther), Steve O’Hara (Sgt Johnson), Pamela Yang (Liat).
Commentaires :
This production originated at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth
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Version 9

South Pacific (1995-12-Drill Hall-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 12 décembre 1995
Première : mardi 12 décembre 1995
Dernière : samedi 20 janvier 1996
Mise en scène : Phil Willmott
Chorégraphie : Jack Gunn
Avec : Joanna Maddison (Nellie Forbush), Peter Polycarpou (Emile), Christopher Howard (Lt. Cable), Patti Boulaye (Bloody Mary), John Marquez (Luther).
Commentaires :
With a 17 strong cast and a 6 piece band this was one of the earlier attempts to re-stage the standard large-scale West End and Broadway musicals as "chamber” pieces in small venues.
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Version 10

South Pacific (2001-12-Olivier Theatre-NT-London) (Revival)
Durée : 4 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 163 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 03 décembre 2001
Première : mercredi 12 décembre 2001
Dernière : samedi 27 avril 2002
Mise en scène : Trevor Nunn
Chorégraphie : Matthew Bourne
Avec : Lauren Kennedy (Nellie Forbush), Philip Quast (Emile), Edward Baker-Duly (Lt. Cable), Sheila Francisco (Bloody Mary) , Nick Holder (Luther).
Commentaires :
This major revival at the National Theatre interpolated two songs that had been cut from the original production: “My Girl Back Home” and “The Time is Now”. It was staged with some grainy newsreel projections, and there was an attempt at “gritty realism” by ensuring the crew of GIs were tubby, sweaty and a long way from the usual dancing chorus boys. There was the usual criticism that taxpayers’ money should not be used to subsidise commercial musicals at the National Theatre, but it was generally agreed this was an excellent production of a now slightly dated show.
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Version 11

South Pacific (2007-08-UK Tour) (UK Tour)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 28 août 2007
Première : mardi 28 août 2007
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
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Version 12

South Pacific (2008-04-Vivian Beaumont Theatre-Broadway) (Revival)
Durée : 2 ans 4 mois 3 semaines
Nombre : 37 previews - 996 représentations
Première Preview : samedi 01 mars 2008
Première : jeudi 03 avril 2008
Dernière : dimanche 22 août 2010
Mise en scène : Bartlett Sher
Chorégraphie : Christopher Gattelli
Avec :
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Version 13

South Pacific (2011-08-Barbican Theatre-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : lundi 15 août 2011
Première : mardi 23 août 2011
Dernière : samedi 01 octobre 2011
Mise en scène : Bartlett Sher
Chorégraphie :
Avec : Samantha Womack (Nellie), Paulo Szot (sharing the role of Emile), Jason Howard (sharing the role of Emile), Daniel Koek ( Lt Joe Cable), Alex Ferns (Luther Billis), Loretta Ables Sayre (Bloody Mary)
Commentaires :
This production opened in 2008 at New York’s Lincoln Center, running for two years and winning seven Tony Awards. The show had been re-created for a UK tour starting at the Barbican. With a 25 piece orchestra, it featured the Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot and Loretta Abies Sayre from the original New York production. Paulo Szot was replaced by Jason Howard for the first three weeks of September. The production received three Olivier nominations, including Best Musical Revival, but won none. During the post-Barbican tour various cast changes included Rebecca Thornhill as Nellie Forbush, Matthew Cammelle as Emile de Beque and Jodi Kimura as Bloody Mary. The tour has been extended to at least August 2012, when it will plays Sheffield Lyceum, after which it is booked for a two week run in Dublin.
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