South Pacific

This touring production has been touted as everything from 2008’s Tony-winning Broadway revival to a Second Coming for its Seattle expat director, Bartlett Sher. In the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the singers soar, the sets glide by like a three mai tai reverie, the dancers appear immune to gravity, and the score’s seductive lure to South Seas adventure remains undiminished. Since the show is already the curio of a bygone post-war era, Sher elects to celebrate rather than update. The achievement here is not in innovation, but in restoration. Like the Disney craftsmen who digitally cleaned every hand-painted cel of Fantasia and Snow White until they sparkled better than new, Sher has brought South Pacific out of dry dock fresh and gleaming. Many fans of the musical consider it to be the pinnacle of the form. And if that’s so, then this South Pacific may well be the pride of the fleet. KEVIN PHINNEY [See Kevin's full review.]

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 29. Continues through Feb. 21, 2010

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