South Pacific: David Pittsinger to make his Broadway debut when he temporarily assumes the role of 'Emile de Becque'
Bass-Baritone David Pittsinger will assume the role of 'Emile de Becque' in Lincoln Center Theaterï¿½s Tony Award winning production of Rodgers & Hammersteinï¿½s South Pacific, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, during two upcoming periods when the productionï¿½s current 'Emile de Becque,' Paulo Szot leaves the musical to honor two previously scheduled opera commitments.
Pittsinger will make his debut as the French plantation owner on 2 Dec 2008 for an eight week engagement through to 25 Jan 2009, while Szot appears in a production of 'The Merry Widow' for Opera Marseille.
Szot will then return to South Pacific on 27 Jan 2009 for six weeks through to 8 Mar, after which he will leave to star in a production of 'Carmen' for Opera Toulouse. During this five week period, Pittsinger will return to the role of Emile de Becque from 12 Mar - 12 Apr 2009, with Szot returning to the show on 15 Apr 2009.
David Pittsinger made his Metropolitan Opera debut as 'Truelove' in 'The Rakeï¿½s Progress' conducted by James Levine. He went on to appear in the MET productions of 'Don Carlo,' 'La Boheme,' 'Die Zauberflote' and 'Giulio Cesare.' Later this season he will also appear in the New York City Operaï¿½s concert performance of 'Antony and Cleopatra' at Carnegie Hall.
Szot won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of 'Emile de Becque.'
South Pacific opened on 3 Apr 2008, following prveiews from 1 Mar, and was orginally scheduled to play a limited engagement ending on the 22 Jun 2008. The musical received critical acclaim, and on 4 Apr 2008, just one day after it opened the Lincoln Center announced the show would play an open run, and is currently booking through to 31 May 2009 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.
The musical received rave reviews: "Great entertainment. Donï¿½t miss it."
(newyorktheatreguide.com); "Simply wonderful!" (New York Post); "A masterpiece." (Star-Ledger); "It soars" (USA Today); "This is ravishing theater." (Variety).
South Pacific won seven 2008 Tony Awards: Best Musical Revival, Best Director (Bartlett Sher), Best Actor in a Musical (Paulo Szot), Best Scenic Design (Michael Yeargan), Best Costume Design (Catherine Zuber), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder) and Best Sound Design (Scott Lehrer).
The story takes place during World War II: in the South Pacific love is found between a young nurse, Nellie Forbush and an older French plantation owner, Emile de Becque, but the war is tearing them apart.
South Pacific features such classic songs as: 'A Cockeyed Optimist'; 'Some Enchanted Evening'; 'There Is Nothing Like a Dame' and 'Bali Ha'i', to name a few.
The cast for the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammersteinï¿½s South Pacific features Kelli Oï¿½Hara (Ensign Nellie Forbush), Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque), Loretta Ables Sayre (Bloody Mary) Matthew Morrison (Lt. Joseph Cable), Danny Burstein (Luther Billis), Sean Cullen (Cmdr. William Harbison), Victor Hawks (Stewpot), Luka Kain (Jerome), Li Jun Li (Liat), Laurissa Romain (Ngana), Skipp Sudduth (Capt. George Brackett), Noah Weisberg (professor) and Becca Ayers (Ensign Cora MacRae).
The production of South Pacific, the first to be mounted on Broadway since the Pulitzer Prize winning musical premiered in 1949, is directed by Barlett Sher and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.
Based on James Michenerï¿½s ï¿½Tales of the South Pacific,ï¿½ South Pacific has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan.