Great Performances

Season 34 Episode 11

'South Pacific' in Concert from Carnegie Hall

Aired Unknown Apr 26, 2006 on PBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

'South Pacific' in Concert from Carnegie Hall
A concert performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "South Pacific."

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  • Concert Staging of the full score of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Pulitzer Prize winning musical.

    Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell headline a brilliantly realized concert staging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. Utilizing an enormous chorus and outstanding supporting cast, this SRO production brings South Pacific into the 21st Century. McEntire proves that her Broadway appearance in Annie Get Your Gun was not a one-off fluke - she is a musical theatre star of the first order.

    Brian Stokes Mitchell enchances his stature with a vocal performance of power - especially with "This Nearly Was Mine." Along with fine and humorous supporting turns by Alex Baldwin as Luthur Billig and Lillias White as Bloody Mary, Paul Gemingani's musical direction bring a vitality to an often staid museum piece. This is far superior to the telefilm with Glenn Close.moreless
  • Good overall performance, some things are a bit uneven for me.

    It'e always nice to see "South Pacific" and this entry starts with a rousintg rendition of "Bali Ha'i" to set the mood. Overall, the quality is quite good but a couple of things bother me.

    Initially, the production values are spare, the singers are not dressed in costume and read from script books on stage - fine if that's the look. Later, it's odd as costumes are introduced. A consistent approach throughout the production would have worked better for me. At least as edited for broadcast, this version of the show is also not the greatest example for new viewers who are unfamiliar with the story.

    Sadly, though I think that Reba McEntire sings competently (though not projecting her voice really well) - she still hangs on to her country twang. I don't mind her voice, but I can't think of too many American musicals where the voice fits less than this one. Brian Stokes Mitchell is very good. The mis-match doesn't ruin the show for me, but it just doesn't fit either and detracts from the overall impression. On the other hand, this version of "South Pacific" is one of the major modern stagings of the show.

    So, I suppose opinions may vary.moreless
Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire

Ensign Nellie Forbush

Guest Star

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Emile de Becque

Guest Star

Jason Danieley

Jason Danieley

Lt. Joseph Cable

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions