Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sea Breezes, Palm Trees and Great Music - "South Pacific" Comes to Pittsburgh

The Cast of "South Pacific" Credit: Matt Polk
Travel to Bali Ha’i with Billis and his crew in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC, starring Broadway’s Ben Davis, James Snyder and Erika Henningsen August 5-14 at the Benedum Center. Tickets are now available and can be purchased online, by visiting the Theater Square Box Office or calling 412-456-6666.

Love transcends the harsh realities of war and prejudice in this sweeping Pulitzer Prize-winning tale centered around two unlikely love affairs. Set on a tropical island during World War II, this timeless Rodgers & Hammerstein classic features some of the most beautiful music ever composed woven into an inspiring story cherished the world over. The beloved score’s songs include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” and “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame” amidst big, Broadway performances and a chorus of American sailors and Navy nurses ready to take you to Bali Ha’i.


Loretta Ables Sayre (Bloody Mary) had her NYC and Broadway debut as Bloody Mary in Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of South Pacific (Tony Award® nomination and Theatre World Award) and London debut at Barbican Theatre and U.K. tour. Other theatre credits include: Bloody Mary in South Pacific (The MUNY and Paper Mill Playhouse), Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (Hawaii Theatre), You Somebody (Diamond Head Theater), Dreamgirls (Hawaii Theatre), Song of the Navigator (Honolulu Theater for Youth - U.S. tour including Kennedy Center and Australia.) Concerts: opening for The Beach Boys, Kenny Loggins, James Brown, and Four Tops. TV: Hawaii Five-0, Beyond the Break, North Shore, Hawaii, Baywatch Hawaii, Byrds of Paradise. Movies: Sex and the City 2, Dress.

Genson Blimline (Luther Billis) has previously been seen on Broadway/NYC in: Rock of Ages (Lonny Barnett), South Pacific (LCT, original cast), Waitress (Cal), It Started on Kingley Street (Rich the Hammer), The Searchers (Atlantic Theatre Co.).  Natl’ Tours:  South Pacific, A Chorus Line, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Grease, Footloose, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.  TV:  The Blacklist, The Affair, Law and Order SVU, Elementary, Flesh and Bone, Glee, As The World Turns, ED and LFE (pilot).

Ben Davis (Emile de Becque) recently played Captain von Trapp in the National Tour of Jack O'Brien's The Sound of Music. International credits include Kiss Me Kate (Fred/Petruchio) at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra and Sondheim at 80 with the RTÉ Orchestra in Dublin, Ireland. Broadway: Violet (The Preacher),  A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist) with Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters, Les Miserables (Javert and Enjolras), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon) and Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme (Marcello), receiving a Tony Honor. Tours: Spamalot  (Galahad). Regional credits include Oklahoma! (Curly) at The Muny as well as South Pacific (Emile) at both The Muny and Asolo Repertory Theatre. He performed opposite Kelli O'Hara and Victor Garber in Kurt Weill's, Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center (Recorded Live) and opposite Ms. O'Hara in concert, as well as in the New York City Opera/BAM production of Anna Nicole, The Opera. TV/Film: The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh, 30 Rock, Numb3rs, and Miriam.

Curt Denham (Capt. George Brackett) recently appeared as Sheriff/Henry Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde at TUTS, the title role in The Wizard of Oz at Casa Manana, and The Husband in Sondheim’s Putting It Together at Cabrillo Stage in California. Other Regional: Maltz Jupiter, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Theatre By The Sea, TheatreWorks and Sierra Repertory.

Monteze Freeland (Stewpot) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after making his debut in Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA. Mr. Freeland has worked with the Arena Players, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Kuntu Rep (Radio Golf), Pittsburgh Playwrights (The Piano Lesson), City Theatre, Quantum Theatre (The Electric Baby ) and many more in the Pittsburgh region. He is also the Artistic Director of The LAB Project.

Erika Henningsen (Ensign Nellie Forbush) will be taking the Benedum stage for her debut at Pittsburgh CLO. Her credits include Broadway: Les Miserables (Fantine). New York: Showboat: Live from Lincoln Center w/ the NY Philharmonic (Kim Ravenal). Regional: Originated the role of Beth in the world premiere of Sheryl Crow's musical Diner at the Signature Theater, Carousel (Carrie Pipperidge), and Hairspray (Penny).
Jeffrey Howell (Cmdr. William Harbison) most recently appeared in Pittsburgh CLO’s productions of Damn Yankees and Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA. He has multiple credits from the Pittsburgh CLO, some of which include: Man of La Mancha, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde, A Musical Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), Beauty and the Beast, Bells are Ringing, The Pajama Game and The Most Happy Fella.  Other credits include Choir Boy and Souvenir (REP), Candide, Tigers Be Still, Chicago and Tribute to Lerner and Loewe with Marvin Hamlisch and the PSO.

Alex Manalo (Liat) is making her Pittsburgh CLO debut. Her credits include: Luna with Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr., and Tink with Stage Right.

Mason Alexander Park (Professor) recently appeared with Pittsburgh CLO in ALTAR BOYZ (Mark) and last summer’s MARY POPPINS. In addition: The Drowsy Chaperone (Man in Chair) and Rocky Horror Picture Show (Dr. Frank-n-Furter). He was introduced to Pittsburgh CLO through the National High School Musical Theater Awards, during which time he was featured on PBS’s reality series Broadway or Bust. He recently performed at the Kennedy Center in D.C. as the 2013 Presidential Scholar in the Arts for Musical Theatre, featuring him in the PBS documentary “Becoming an Artist.” Mr. Park can be seen in other popular shows such as Nickelodeon’s iCarly.

James Snyder (Lt. Joseph Cable) starred in Broadway’s If/Then and Cry-Baby (Drama League Nomination). Other theater credits include: Casa Valentina (West Coast premiere), Rock Of Ages, Ever After (Papermill Playhouse), Carousel (Goodspeed Opera House), Fanny (Encores) and Johnny Baseball (Williamstown Theatre Festival). He has sung at Carnegie Hall with the NY Pops and with the Hartford Symphony. TV: The Good Wife, Rizzoli and Isles, Blue Bloods, Drop Dead Diva, Gilmore Girls, The Suite Life. Film: She’s The Man, An American in China, Shuttle, Pretty Persuasion, (Sundance) and Meth Head.

SOUTH PACIFIC is complete with a talented ensemble, including Cameron Amandus, David Barnes, Gerald Caesar, Christopher Campbell, Ryan Cavanaugh, Ixchel Cuellar, Michael Greer, Myha’la Herrold, Evan Lee, Owen Lee, Justin Lonesome, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Billy Mason, Mara Newbery, JJ Niemann, Emily Nies, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Julia Slagle, Taylor Kellas Warren and Ross Yoder.

Linda Goodrich (Director) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after serving as director and choreographer for Mary Poppins and Singin’ in the Rain. She has directed and choreographed throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.  NYC credits include Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York Music Theatre Festival.  Other theaters: Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, Music Theatre Wichita, TUTS, Seattle's 5th Avenue, Sacramento Music Circus, the MUNY,  St. Louis Rep., La Mirada and Cincinnati Playhouse. Performed in Broadway and National Tours of Cabaret and staged European tour. New works developed, directed and choreographed: A Good Boy, Gibson Fleck and Dance with Me with Graham Russell of Air Supply.

Mark Esposito (Choreographer) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after choreographing over  12 shows throughout the years. Other credits include: Pasadena Playhouse, The Hollywood Bowl (South Pacific with Reba McEntire),The Reprise Series in Los Angeles, La Miranda Theater, Musical Theater West, Sacramento Music Circus, CV Rep Theater Company, Universal Studios, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Globus Theater Company in Russia and Signature Theater in New York.  Mr. Esposito has served as Associate Director and Choreographer for The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show and as choreographer for Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in over 16 Broadway and National Tours and has taught or choreographed at several major universities across the country.

Tom Helm (Music Director) returns for his 21st season with Pittsburgh CLO. His theater credits include the Broadway productions of Souvenir, Les Misérables, Me and My Girl, CATS and Brigadoon. He has also contributed his talents to television programs such as Crazy For You (PBS) and The Today Show. Mr. Helm has conducted at Radio City Music Hall, Paper Mill Playhouse and many other regional and national theaters.

Paul Miller (Lighting Designer) continues his involvement with Pittsburgh CLO’s Summer Season after working on Shrek the Musical. His Broadway credits include: Amazing Grace, Legally Blonde, Freshly Squeezed, Laughing Room Only; Irma La Douce, Where’s Charley?, Lost in the Stars, Of Thee I Sing, and Music in the Air (Encores). Off-Broadway: Out Of The Mouths Of Babes, Clinton – The Musical, Lucky Guy, Nunsense, Vanities - the Musical, Waiting for Godot, Addicted, Balancing Act.  Regional:  Stratford Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare, Idaho Shakespeare, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Bay Street, Lookingglass, Goodspeed. Tours: Elf, Shrek, Storytime Live, Wizard of Oz, Sweeney Todd, Legally Blonde, Nunsense, Scooby Doo, The Sound of Music. Television: Live from Lincoln Center; “New Year’s Eve Celebration in Times Square.”


SOUTH PACIFIC was created from the collaboration of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. The musical opened on Broadway on April 7, 1949, and starred Mary Martin as Nellie Forbush and Ezio Pinza as Emile de Becque. The production garnered 10 Tony Award® wins, arising victorious in every category it was nominated in, including Best Musical.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC has enjoyed two National Tours since its Broadway debut and countless revivals in New York and London. The 2008 revival received seven Tony Awards®, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Paulo Szot. This timeless hit returns to Pittsburgh CLO for the first time since 2001—a run during which Sutton Foster portrayed Nellie Forbush.


Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (Music, Book and Lyrics) have brought several show-stopping delights to the stage, including Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music and Cinderella. The duo is most recognized for their timeless storylines and moving lyrics, some of which include “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” “Getting to Know You,” “My Favorite Things” and SOUTH PACIFIC’s own “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair.” The duo created the first musical play with Oklahoma! and finished their collaboration with The Sound of Music.

Joshua Logan (Director and Book) primarily enjoyed his career as a director of Broadway hits such as Annie Get Your Gun, Fanny and John Loves Mary. He also spent time as an actor and stage manager for Camille. Logan shared the 1950 Pulitzer Prize Award with Rodgers & Hammerstein for co-writing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC.

Performance Schedule for Rodger and Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC

Friday August 5 at 8 pm
Saturday August 6 at 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday August 7 at 2 pm & 7 pm
 Tuesday August 9 at 8 pm
Wednesday August 10 at 8 pm
Thursday August 11 at 8 pm
Friday  August 12 at 8 pm
Saturday August 13 at 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday August 14 at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25 and are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit pittsburghCLO.org for further information.

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