South Pacific: Paulo Szot returns as 'Emile'

Opera baritone Paulo Szot returns to the role of 'Emile de Becque' in Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific on 31 Mar 2010, fresh from his Metropolitan Opera debut in their new production of Shostakovich’s 'The Nose.'

Szot origianted the role of 'Emile' and was awarded a Tony for his performance. During his absence the role was covered by David Pittsinger and Szot's understudy, William Michals.

South Pacific, directed by Bartlett Sher, opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre 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.

The musical will play its final performance on 22 Aug 2010.

The musical received rave reviews: "Great entertainment. Don’t miss it." (New York Theatre Guide); "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 current cast for the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific now features Laura Osnes (Ensign Nellie Forbush), Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque), Loretta Ables Sayre (Bloody Mary), Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable), Danny Burstein (Luther Billis), Sean Cullen (Cmdr. William Harbison), Eric Anderson (Stewpot), Luka Kain (Jerome), Li Jun Li (Liat), Laurissa Romain (Ngana), Murphy Guyer (Capt. George Brackett) and Christian Delcroix (Professor).

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 Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” South Pacific has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan.

Paulo Szot