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Maria Talbert
IU Auditorium

Last modified: Thursday, March 8, 2012

'South Pacific' drops anchor at IU Auditorium

WHAT: "South Pacific"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, and Wednesday, March 28
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: $20 to $41 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and for children and $38 to $60 for general public, on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, through and all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

March 8, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A taste of the tropics is headed to Bloomington as IU Auditorium presents the Tony Award-winning musical "South Pacific," one of Broadway's most romantic stories about characters threatened by war and prejudice, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, and Wednesday, March 28.

South Pacific

Marcelo Guzzo as Emile De Becque and Jennie Sophia as Nellie Forbush. (photo by Peter Coombs)

Print-Quality Photo

Set in the South Pacific Islands during World War II, the musical introduces Nellie Forbush, a nurse at a U.S. naval base, who falls in love with French expatriate Emile de Becque. The couple discuss marriage, but their romance goes awry when Nellie discovers Emile's two children were born to a native woman, forcing Nellie to choose between love and her deeply rooted prejudice.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marine Lt. Joseph Cable arrives on the island and falls in love with beautiful Polynesian native Liat. However, similar to Nellie, the lieutenant becomes torn between his heart's desire and the racism instilled in him as a child. Before anything is decided, Joseph and Emile are called on a mission, and only time will tell if the characters have the chance to re-evaluate their relationships and prejudices.

Based on James Michener's 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific," Joshua Logan directed the first run of the musical in New Haven, Conn., in 1949. The musical featured songs written by the talented Rodgers and Hammerstein. In 1950, the musical debuted on Broadway and subsequently won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress. A successful Broadway revival, directed by Bartlett Sher, opened in 2008 at the Lincoln Theater and won five Drama Desk Awards, five Outer Critics Circle Awards and seven Tony Awards.

Sarna Lapine, who worked closely with Sher for six years, directs the current tour of South Pacific. In a article, Lapine said, "What (Sher) did and what I've tried to carry on in the tour, is to give the show its roots in the naturalism of the original production -- what Josh Logan worked out with Rodgers and Hammerstein to bring the show to the stage."

Audience members will enjoy the classic, popular songs "Bali Ha'i," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "Some Enchanted Evening" and "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy."

"This fresh, lavish production of 'South Pacific' based on the recent Broadway run at Lincoln Center showcases the classic story built on timeless themes of love, camaraderie and prejudice," IU Auditorium director Doug Booher said. "It will be a night you won't soon forget."

For more information on "South Pacific" and the rest of the 2011-12 season, visit The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook page and Twitter feed, whose followers receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

"South Pacific" at IU Auditorium is sponsored by Smithville and Lamar Outdoor Advertising. IU Auditorium's 2011-12 season is presented by Curry Auto Center, B97, The Herald-Times and IU Residential Programs and Services.