06 Jul NATHAN GUNN: REVIEW: SOUTH PACIFIC AT ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL
A new collaboration between the Aspen Music Festival, the one with the big tent for (mostly) classical music, and Theatre Aspen, whose little tent next to the John Denver Sanctuary puts on plays and musicals, paid big dividends Monday in Benedict Music Tent.
The music festival supplied the 2,000-seat tent, chorus and the orchestra, led by Broadway veteran Andy Einhorn, and a packed audience got to relish a vivid, idiomatic, heartfelt performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” in concert. A cast of Broadway-quality singer-actors (and one noted operatic baritone) did it full justice.
The musical, based on James Michener’s novel “Tales of the South Pacific,” debuted in 1949. Set on a remote island base during World War II, it centers on a U.S. Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, who falls in love with a self-made plantation owner, a widowed Frenchman whose two mixed-race children challenge her racial intolerance.