| Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Book: Oscar Hammerstein II & Joshua Logan
Based on James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific.
Orginal Broadway production opened in 1949, running for 1 925 performances.
Based on James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pulitzer prize-winning South Pacific is one of the most beloved musicals ever to hit the stage. The appeal is simple: a collection of stunning compositions--immense symphonic sound orchestrated by Rodgers collaborator Robert Russell Bennett--and characters with a simple though cohesive through-line. On this original Broadway cast recording, the lovely, girlish Mary Martin (Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun) is the heartily feminine American nurse Nellie Bly to the dashing former Metropolitan Opera bass Ezio Pinza as French plantation owner Emile de Becque. This release takes from the original high-quality tapes cut in 1949 (rather than the acetates, which were recorded simultaneously for the vinyl release of the day). There are alternate takes of a few songs and the restored original version of the hard-hitting racial commentary number "Carefully Taught." Pinza's "Some Enchanted Evening" is tender and lovely without being cloying. Martin's confidence and warm vocal expressiveness on numbers such as "Twin Soliloquies" and the bonus track, "Loneliness of the Evening," are stellar, and the choral numbers are both solid and spunky.