Virginia Rep opens Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, starring Stacey Cabal and Branch Fields, on Friday, June 26 at the November Theatre. Pictured here: (Front row) James Stover, (second row) Justin Robert Sease, Alexander Sapp, (third row) William Anderson, Jamari Johnson Williams, Durron Marquis Tyre, Gordon Lewanowicz, (fourth row) Paul S. Major. (Photo by Jay Paul)
Based on Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener, South Pacific is set during World War II as an American nurse, Nellie, falls in love with Emile, an expatriate French plantation owner, and then struggles to accept his mixed-raced children. Director Chase Kniffen and Stacey Cabaj, who plays Nellie, both say the musical that made its Broadway debut in 1949 has relevant themes for today. "It’s about people hopefully making good decisions surrounding those themes [of racial tension], so it definitely feels relevant to me,” Kniffen says. Cabaj (whom you may remember from past Virginia Rep. performances such as My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music) seconds that thought. “We can look back even more critically now to see how far we’ve come or not,” she says. “So I think with Nellie as our American everywoman who’s fresh-faced and optimistic, we also see that our everywoman struggles with some very tricky questions of how to be loyal and true blue, but still pursue her own happiness, and I think those are some timeless themes.”
June 26 to Aug. 9 at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre.
Tickets: $36 to $60
Call 804-282-2620 or va-rep.org for more information.
Stacey Cabaj as Nellie Forbush. (Photo courtesy: Virginia Repertory Theatre)