Friday, May 4, 2012

S. Pacific

Real high school musicals are not like Glee. I know this; I've seen them before, but not for a while. Attempts, at our previous residence, to keep posted on such events at the local school foundered on the school's complete lack of interest in keeping a calendar accessible to the general public who were not parents, and we never even tried to connect with the nearest school after we moved.

But this week one of the regulars on the neighborhood association mailing list passed on the info that the school was putting on South Pacific this weekend, because her son is in it. I have no particular brief for this particular work, but it has some good stuff and we knew about the performance, so we went. And discovered when we got there that the school not only has a very active theatre department, putting on half a dozen stage plays each year, but they've already scheduled next year, with dates, so on my calendar next year's musical goes.

So, South Pacific. Not like Glee, as I said. The leads were strong enough that the show didn't crumble around them. Nellie had a good line in bashful acting, and adopted an Arkansas accent while speaking which she dropped when she sang. Emile showed that he was Older and Serious by talking like Commander Data from Star Trek. Both sang strongly if loosely, and only crumbled on those high concluding notes. Lt. Cable was a milquetoast, but gathered all his gumption to emit the show's moral, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught", with some passion and sincerity. Luther was enough of a hoot - less Ray Walston than John Travolta in looks and style - that I'm convinced he's the school's class clown. And Bloody Mary was bloody good. Her bio in the program book read "I have stage fright" but you wouldn't know it. She gave the character's pidgin speaking believably and sang with grace and confidence.

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