Based on short stories by James Michener published collectively as Tales of the South Pacific, the musical South Pacific opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on April 7, 1949, starring Mary Martin, Ezio Pinza and Juanita Hall. South Pacific won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, marking the first time the committee included a composer in the drama prize. The original production … Read More
With Emile’s whereabouts still in question, Nellie goes to Emile’s house to be with his children, Ngana and Jerome. The three are sharing a meal on their patio dinner table when Emile suddenly appears, home from the mission. He joins them at the table, taking Nellie’s hand in his.
Emile, feeling he has lost the love of his life, grieves for the love-filled life he might have known.
When Nellie discovers that Emile’s children are of mixed-race lineage, she decides she cannot marry him. Lt. Cable, unable to overcome his own prejudices and marry Liat, bitterly comments on the racism he and Nellie were raised to internalize.
At the Thanksgiving Follies, Nellie dons an oversized sailor’s uniform to portray a serviceman who sings the praises of his “dainty” girlfriend. When the sailor’s “Honey Bun” appears, she is played by Luther Billis, complete with grass skirt and coconut bikini top.
Hoping to convince Lt. Cable to marry her daughter Liat, Bloody Mary describes the life the two young lovers could have together.
When Lieutenant Cable meets Bloody Mary’s daughter Liat on the island of Bali H’ai, he is immediately taken by her beauty. After they spend a quick and passionate night together, Cable confesses his surprising love for her.
As Cable, Luther Billis and Bloody Mary make their way to Bali H’ai, the women of the island reprise the song in French.
After telling her girlfriends that she was washing Emile “outa her hair,” Nellie turns on a dime, boldly proclaiming that she indeed loves him.
Out by the showers, Nellie declares her independence, vowing to end her relationship with Emile de Becque. This playful tune was inspired by Mary Martin’s notion of actually shampooing her hair while singing a song – something she’d never seen anyone do. Eight times a week, before a paying audience, that’s exactly what she did. An anthem of independence and … Read More