South Pacific is a musical that’s been around long enough for most people to already know whether or not they love it. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s latest production of the show hasn’t changed much since its last turn on the stage almost ten years ago. Deb Wims reprises her role as the naïve nurse from Arkansas, Jeff Stockberger is back as Luther Billis, and Cynthia Thomas returns as Bloody Mary.
Lt. Joseph Cable and Emile de Becque are played by newcomers to Beef & Boards, Mickey Rafalski and Robert Wilde respectively. Both were excellent, and Rafalski’s voice brought a particularly beauty to numbers like “Younger Than Springtime”.
There’s not much time to see the romances develop throughout the show. From the opening scene we learn that Nellie and a Frenchman, Emile de Becque, have met and fallen in love. Later Lt. Joseph Cable falls for a local Polynesian girl, Liat, in a matter of moments. It’s hard to root for relationships that seem to develop so suddenly.
Despite the cheerful tone, the premise behind South Pacific is a heartbreaking one. The song “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” reminds audiences that racism is a learned trait. For most of the characters it is embedded so deeply into their mindset that they aren’t even conscious of their prejudice.
Fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein are sure to love this classic and will leave humming “Some Enchanted Evening”, but don’t attend expecting any new revelations.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Oct. 4. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $40 to $65 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.
Photos courtesy of Beef & Boards