Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:25

South Pacific but north of Highway 70

Written by Laura Kyro
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Ashley Roseboro
  • Dates: September 30 - October 9, 2011

The Alpha Players of Florissant have definitely taken on an ambitious production in their staging of South Pacific. This lavish musical is set against the backdrop of American and Japanese hostilities in the islands of the south pacific during WWII. 

First performed on Broadway in 1949, the book of this significant musical weaves together a variety of characters and elements from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Tales of the South Pacific. Here, French expatriate plantation owner, Emile de Becque, woos Nurse Nellie Forbush. When Nellie discovers Emile’s late wife was “colored” (Polynesian), her racial prejudice causes her to break off the relationship. Echoing this story is the situation in which Marine Lt. Joseph Cable also rejects marrying a young Tonkinese girl—daughter of island entrepreneur Bloody Mary—because of her race. In the background, Navy sailors, officers, seabees, marines, and female nurses abound. A soaring score by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II includes standards such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Nothin’ Like a Dame,” “Cockeyed Optimist,” and Bali Ha’i.”

In the hands of Director Ashley Roseboro (also Vocal Director) as assisted by Wendy Lindsay, and Musical Director Michael Blackwood, I found the production to be generally pleasing, but a slightly mixed success.

Among those aspects of the production I felt were a little off the night I was there were the pacing seemed generally s l o w and energy low, some in the cast seemed awkward (“Hey, Mom, look at me… I’m ACTING!”), and, not all the actors really seemed to take ownership of their parts.

Margaret Borgmeyer as Nellie had a beautiful soprano, but her subdued portrayal needed more animation, presence, and volume to be properly “bromidic and bright.”  Bruce Jake Roberts, however, had no problem in taking focus and belting out his portrayal of Emile de Becque. Evan Fornachon had a sweet tenor he used to good advantage as Lt. Cable. Sue Buydos as Bloody Mary was properly brassy. The only person, however, to take his part in his teeth, chew it up, and spit it out, was Mark Zoole as Luther Billis; when he was on you didn’t pay attention to anyone else, and the general energy levels of scenes shot up. Navy officers (George Lewandowski, Rick Spilker) were appropriately war-weary, and some nice gymnastic dancing was included. In all, the enthusiasm of the large, of-all-ages cast made for an enjoyable show.

Technically, the set (Stephanie Draper) was very functional and effective as a variety of venues, but I missed seeing the mysterious presence of the island of Bali Ha’i visible on the horizon to help set the scene. A dune of sand without even a palm tree can only go so far. Stephanie’s lighting also worked nicely. Costumes (Barbara Langa) were a perfect complement, especially the uniforms. Monette Dennis was Choreographer, with Sound Design by J.D. Wade. The rather large orchestra, under Conductor Michael Blackwood, was generally excellent accompaniment; only a very few times so loud the actors couldn’t easily be heard.

South Pacific runs approx. 3 hours with one 20-minute intermission. It continues in the Florissant Civic Center Theatre on Parker Road through Sunday, October 9, 2011. For more information visit http://www.alphaplayers.org/.

Additional Info

  • Director: Ashley Roseboro
  • Dates: September 30 - October 9, 2011

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Wednesday
15

Lunch Beat St. Louis #25 @ KDHX

Lunch Beat St. Louis is a free lunch time dance party to let you slip away from the everyday. Bring your co-workers, and bring your friends because for this party the bigger, the better. The music begins exactly at Noon and lasts...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 9557 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook