BY GEORGE. J. DACRE
Life on some of the islands in the South Pacific during World War II is depicted in this longtime beloved musical that was born when Rodgers and Hammerstein and Joshua Logan collaborated way back in the 1950s Broadway era. Now it is back at the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford and it is a delight.
The musical tells the story of American Lieutenant Joe Cable and a young Tonkonese girl, Liat, and their doomed romance. Also told are the stories of American nurses, led by Nellie Forbush, and United States Navy Seabees. The love story of Forbush and Islander Emile deBecque plays a key role in the show.
The plot thickens as musical scenes are performed to the great music of Rogers and Hammerstein (with Logan’s collaboration).
The audience in Elmsford enjoyed such tunes as “Dites Moi,” “A Cockeyed Optimist,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Bloody Mary,” “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” “Bali Ha’i,” “A Wonderful Guy,” “Younger Than Springtime” and more.
Westchester Broadway Theatre’s presentation is up to their usual high standards with direction by Charles Repole, musical direction by Leo P.Carusone and choreography by Michael Litchtefeld. Haley Swindal as Nellie Forbush and George Dvorsky as Emile deBecque make beautiful music together and Zach Trimmer and Alison T. Chi, as Liat, do likewise.
Joanne Javien is great as Bloody Mary and Bill Dietrich, as Luther Billis, scores well in the production, the 186th at Westchester Broadway. The ensemble led by Dance Captain Sarah Ellis figures strongly in this show. Set design by Steve Loftus depicts the islands.
It is an enchanting evening of theatre and food (aka dinner theatre). I rate “South Pacific” at Westchester Broadway 3 out of 4 Stars!
Tickets at broadwaytheatre.com or 914-592-2222.