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Show Overview

Music by Richard Rodgers | Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific" by James A. Michener

Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war.

South PacificNellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile's proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he's fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe's life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.

Preview Performances: June 15, 16, 20
Opens June 21
Runs through July 13. Thu/Fri/Sat 8pm & Sun 4pm

Cast & Staff

Tiffan Borelli
Tiffan Borelli,
Nellie Forbush

Daniel Klein
Daniel Klein,
Emile de Becque

Janelle Robinson
Janelle Robinson,
Bloody Mary

Jason EvansJason Evans,
Lieutenant Joe Cable

Kim Wong
Kim Wong,
Liat

Nick Reynolds
Nick Reynolds,
Luther Billis

Matt Spano
Matt Spano,
Stewpot / Ensemble

Brian Wicker Brian Wicker,
Lt Buzz Adams/Sailor

Patrick Spaulding
Patrick Spaulding,
Captian Bracket

Jessa Rose
Jessa Rose,
Nurse / Islander

Jason Law
Jason Law,
Commander Harbison

David Rosenberg
David Rosenberg,
Professor / Ensemble

Adam HillAdam Hill,
Bob McCaffrey/Ensemble

Adam BashianAdam Bashian,
Shore Patrol, u/s Emile

Katie Oxman
Katie Oxman,
Nurse, u/s Nellie 

Sharon MalaneSharon Malane,
Nurse

Lysie Jordan
Lysie Jordan,
Nurse / Islander

Kasey Lee Huizinga
Kasey Huizinga,
Nurse / Islander

Bobby GodasBobby Godas,
Sailor / Ensemble

Chris Balestriere
Chris Balestriere
Sailor / Ensemble

Dan Faber
Dan Faber
Marine / Ensemble

Patrick BeasleyPatrick Beasley,
Marine / Cable Understudy

Johann GeorgeJohann George,
Henry  / Ensemble

Anna Oxman
Anna Oxman,
Islander/Ensemble

Blanca GrandeBlanca Grande,
Islander / Ensemble

Cristina FerreiraCristina Ferreira,
Ngana 

Neha Iyer
Neha Iyer,
Ngana
 

Allie Potenza
Allie Potenza,
Nurse

Dillon Mims
Dillon Mims
Jerome

Christian Camporin
Christian Camporin
Jerome

 

Creative Team:

Allegra Libonati, Director
David Hancock Turner, Music Director
Devon Allen, Lighting Designer
Julia Noulin-Mérat, Scenic Designer
Doug Shankman, Choreographer
Jim Hart, Technical Director
Sarah Cogan, Costume Designer

Videos

Coming Soon

Reviews

Broadway World Reviews: South Pacific in New Canaan
Sherry S. Cohen

It’s not just Bali Ha’i that will call you. It’s Roger’s  and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. This is a show that’s hard to get wrong, because everyone loves the book and the music. But director Allegra Libonati did all the right things to make this production a must-see at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan.

Lest you think that this is just an amateur production presented in a tent, then you jumped head first to the wrong conclusions. For starters, Libonati chose an exceptional cast, notably Tiffan Borelli as Ensign Nellie Forsbush), Daniel Klein as Emile de Becque, Janelle A. Robinson as Bloody Mary, Jason Michael Evens as Lt. Joseph Cable, Nick Reynolds as Luther Billis, and Kim Wong as Liat. (Several cast members are members of Actors Equity Association.) Then there is Julia Noulin-Mérat’s brilliant set design, which included steps that Libonati used very effectively regardless of the scene. It was simple, but certainly evoked the impressiveness of de Becque’s plantation, the simplicity of the naval base and office, the streets, and a house of ill-repute. Part of the back tenting was open, and the lush trees of Waveny Park enhanced the set. Sara Cogan’s costumes were faultless, as was David Hancock Turner’s musical direction (with a 10-piece orchestra that included wind, brass and bowed instruments).

The message of book is still relevant. By coincidence, the show opened Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s 10th season just as Paual Deen’s show was cancelled because of her racist slur. How timely is that?

Borelli, who previously played Ensign Janet Macgregor at the Maine State Music Theatre’s production of South Pacific, was born to play Nellie. A native of Oklahoma, she got the Arkansas accent right, but what was more impressive was that she nailed the retro style look and subtle mannerisms of the era. She is also a first-rate singer. Klein, an opera singer, has a smooth voice and smooth movements that are perfect for musical theatre. Robinson was the most likeable Bloody Mary this critic has ever seen. Evens, as Cable, projected the right bearing as a Princeton WASP who is struggling to break out of his social prison. (Next stop: A.R. Gurney’s [fill in the blank]!) He and Wong had good chemistry as the ill-fated lovers. Reynolds was funny and energetic as Billis.

The Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s production of South Pacific is absolutely outstanding. Even if you’ve seen the show several times before, make sure you see this production. It just may make other productions look pale in comparison.

South Pacific runs through July 13. Check the calendar on the website for dates and times. You can still see other shows on weekend! For tickets, call 203-966-4634 or visit www.stonc.org.

"It's 'some enchanted evening' at Summer Theatre of New Canaan"
Joanne Greco Rochman - Hersam Acorn Newspapers, CBS, CBS-CT Blog

Outdoor summer theater can be as romantic as an evening on Feb. 14, especially if you take in the current Summer Theatre of New Canaan production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific." Everything works here. The cast is top notch; the musicians are superior; and the musical is quite simply one of the all-time best ever. This outdoor theater is under a specially designed tent, so even rain won't keep audiences away.

What keeps this musical so contemporary is not only that it deals with social issues we are still dealing with today like racism, but the lyrics and songs are so romantic that until romance dies, this musical will live on. Best of all, there's not one musical number that isn't terrific.

Tiffan Borelli plays Ensign Nellie Forbush and really captures the essence of the character. It's easy to believe that Borelli is a cockeyed optimist. Her performance is as authentic as it is inspired. Her vocals are spot on and her playfulness in the role punctuates the spirit of Nellie Forbush. Daniel Klein as Emile De Becque got thunderous applause after his first solo. He has one of those voices that makes you sit up and say "Wow, what a voice!" Not surprisingly, he made the vocal jump from opera to musical theater with this production, though he is scheduled to perform in a Puccini opera come August. One can only hope that he keeps jumping.

Janelle Robinson plays Bloody Mary with enough spunk to keep the fun factor of the show very high. Considering that she originated the role of Mrs. Corry in the Broadway production of "Mary Poppins," fun accompanies her strong vocals perfectly. Also claiming a fair share of the fun is Nick Reynolds as Luther Billis. His performance weighs in at 101 pounds of fun.

Jason Michael Evens as Lt. Joseph Cable not only stole the heart of Liat, played superbly by Kim Wong, but he stole the hearts of many of the women in the audience when he sang "Younger Than Springtime." His performance accentuates the overall excellence of director Allegra Libonati, musical director David Hancock Turner, and choreographer Doug Shankman.

When it comes to set design, surely Julia Noulin-Mérat deserves an ovation. With an actual army jeep positioned to one side of the stage and all the necessary tropical flair in place, her set wastes no time in transporting the audience to an island in the South Pacific. Sara Cogan's costumes complete the army/island motif with cleverly colorful and appropriate costumes for each member of the cast.

Overall, this is a big hit for the outdoor Equity theater. With songs such as "Dite-Moi," "Bali Ha'i," "Honey Bun," and "Happy Talk," this production is as lively as it is romantic. Playing through July 13, this is one summer romance that will linger long after the final curtain.

Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association, and covers art and culture in a blog for CBS and CBS-CT.

 

"An Enchanted Evening can be had"
Garrett Stack - WMNR Theatre Circuit

The Summer Theatre of New Canaan has mounted an entertaining staging of the Rodger and Hammerstein classic with several standout moments and performances.  

...
Starting with the first echoes of Bali Ha'i that opens the overture, this reviewer was pleased...

I found myself steeped in the action and moved by the performances right to the very end.
...
Very enjoyable production."

 

“SOUTH PACIFIC” SOARS  INTO NEW CANAAN
BONNIE GOLDBERG,  MiddleTown Press

Picture swaying palm trees, soft island breezes, coral dotted sands, lush green mountains, bouquets of  tropical blossoms and endless Pacific ocean waves and you will be set to experience the enchanting production of "South Pacific" until Saturday, July 13, courtesy of Summer Theatre of New Canaan.  This classic musical is a splendid way to spend a summer evening under the stars.

The primary story swirls around a middle-aged French plantation owner Emile de Becque, brought to charming and romantic life by Daniel Klein,  who meets a naïve young United States Navy nurse from Arkansas, Nellie Forbush, an engagingly sweet Tiffan Borelli, at an officers’ club dance and they fall in love “one enchanted evening.”  The second story involves United States Marine Lieutenant Joe Cable, a strong and committed Jason Michael Evans, who comes to the island to carry out a dangerous spy mission and becomes infatuated with Liat, a Tonkinese girl, played by a lovely Kim Wong.  Both Nellie and Cable experience bigotry and suffer from deep-seated prejudices, feelings that are revealed in the telling song “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught.”

Some of the other beautiful tunes that have come out of this production include “This Nearly Was Mine,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Bali Ha’i,”

“Younger Than Springtime” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” as well as the light hearted “Happy Talk,” “Bloody Mary,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and “Honey Bun.”

While the play deals with World War II and the conflict in the Pacific against the Japanese as well as the reactions in the United States, some of the production’s lighter moments are provided by Luther Billis as an entrepreneurial sort who finds himself in a new world and tries to make the best of it, even if it involves bending the rules... Nick Reynolds brings this role to comic life. Also outstanding in her part is Janelle Robinson as Bloody Mary, who like Luther is trying to earn a good living by being enterprising as well as finding a suitable husband for her daughter Liat.  She focuses on Joe Cable as being the right man.

 Christian Camporin and Dillon Mims share the role of Emile's son Jerome while Cristina I. Ferreira and Neha Lyer both play Ngana. Allegra Libonati directs a large and talented cast in this wonderful production.  The summer schedule also includes "Grease," "The Little Mermaid," "The Cat in the Hat" and "Pinkalicious The Musical."

Start off your summer on a high note, beautifully sung, by attending a performance of "South Pacific," a universal favorite in the world of musical theater.

"SOUTH PACIFIC" THIS IS SUMMER THEATRE AT ITS FINEST.
By Marlene S. Gaylinn - On CT & NY Theatre

Under the all-weather tent at Waveny Park, New Canaan, you can sit comfortably and enjoy nature and cool, hill top breezes while watching a wonderful production of "South Pacific." This is summer theatre at its finest. And, no wonder -- it's Summer Theatre of New Canaan's (STONC) 10th successful season under Melody Libonati's Artistic Direction. Her family team, which has accumulated numerous nominations for awards by Connecticut Critics circle, continues to present the most entertaining, summer productions in our area. This season, daughter, Allegra Libonati directs "South Pacific" which is headed by some magnificent, professional voices accompanied by a 10-piece orchestra, confidently conducted by David Hancock Turner.

However, our main attention, is immediately placed on two pairs of sweethearts who are torn apart by the racial prejudices of that period. Nellie (Tiffan Borelli), a nurse at the base, is attracted to plantation owner Emile De Becque (Daniel Klein) – until she discovers that he has two, bi-racial children (cute kids – played by Christian Camporin and Neha Lyer) from an island native, and recalls her Southern upbringing. Lt. Joe Cable (Jason Evans) love for a native girl, is similarly stunted because his strict, white culture will also not accept a mixed marriage. Evans is a handsome, muscular guy with sexy mannerisms and a voice to match. His sweetheart, played by dainty, Kim Wong, pantomimed her part nicely but did not sing at all.

Klein is a good actor and has a rich, operatic voice. As De Becque, he certainly mesmerizes the audience in "Some Enchanted Evening" and "This Nearly Was Mine." His co star Borellie's performance was slightly uneven. She can act tenderly and has a very pleasant voice that compliments Klein's, however, her overall posture and dance movements need more definition and forcefulness. Never the less, many people in the audience thoroughly enjoyed her performance and could not refrain from shaking their heads and clapping in time to the number "Honey Bun." The nurses, sailors and island girls were fine and the choreography by Doug Shankman was appropriate and enjoyable.

"Grease, " directed by Melody Libonati (she appeared the original B'way production) follows on July 20 – August 11
This review appears in "On CT & NY Theatre" July/2013

 Blown Away  by "SOUTH PACIFIC"
Tom Nissley - The Ridgelea Reports on Theatre

 Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific," directed by Allegra Libonati and choreographed by Dough Shankman with music direction by David Hancock Turner is beautifully paced.  Persons who see it will love the singing/performing of Tiffen Borelli as Nelly Forbush; Daniel Klein as Emile de Becque; Janelle A. Robinson as Bloody Mary; Jason Michael Evens as Lt. Joseph Cable; Kim Wong as Liat ; and Nick Reynolds as a superb Luther Billis. I certainly did. But I was blown away by the constant activity on stage: wonderful movement and action in all the ensemble numbers and quick transitions from one scene to the next.  That is the trademark of this production team, and it is a very special asset. All the ensemble actors are skilled, with good voices and dance training.  The Thanksgiving Follies, with cast members scattered through the audience and on stage, is a perfect symbol of how this company does things in high style.

 

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STONC. The Summer Theatre of New Canaan is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit professional regional theatre company.