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South Pacific
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South Pacific

South Pacific is a musical play by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, first performed in 1949. The musical is based on some short stories by James A. Michener, entitled Tales of the South Pacific. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. The original cast included Mary Martin, who created the role of the heroine, Nellie Forbush, and opera star Ezio Pinza, who plays the part of Emile de Becque, the French plantation owner.

Table of contents
1 The Plot
2 Songs
3 1958 Musical Film
4 Television productions

The Plot

Warning: Plot details follow.

The main storyline concerns a U.S. Navy nurse stationed on a Pacific island during World War II. Having fallen in love with a middle-aged French plantation owner, she is shocked to discover that he has mixed-race children from an earlier relationship. A sub-plot deals with the romance between U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Joe Cable and a Tonkinese girl, Liat, the daughter of "Bloody Mary". The issue of racial prejudice is sensitively and candidly explored.

Songs

1958 Musical Film

The musical was made into a successful film of 1958, starring Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor in the leading roles, with Juanita Hall in the part of Bloody Mary which she had played in the original stage production. Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands , served as the filming location for the movie.

Television productions

It has been filmed twice for television, in 1976 (directed by Julian Krainin) and 2001 (directed by Richard Pearce and starring Glenn Close.