Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

South Pacific

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic sat on the shelf for half a century, denied a major revival, before New York's Lincoln Center dusted it off in a lovely (if not ideal) new production directed by Bartlett Sher. The wonderful Kelli O'Hara, as the navy nurse who learns about her prejudices when she falls for a middle-aged French planter (Paolo Szot), channels Mary Martin better in her singing than acting. But the real discovery here is the invincibility of the old warhorse, and that great R&H score, which needs to be heard in context to be truly appreciated.