G&S Society Holding “South Pacific” Auditions

May 28, 2013

southpacific3Bermuda’s Gilbert & Sullivan [G&S] Society is holding auditions for its upcoming production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “South Pacific”, the groundbreaking World War Two-era musical which introduced any number of popular standards to the American songbook — and one of the first show’s of its kind to send a strong, progressive message about American racism.

Auditons are being held on May 31, June 1 and June 2 at the at the Bermuda School of Music on the campus of the old Berkeley Institute. Call backs will be held on Monday, June 3.

Based on James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific”, the plot centres on an American nurse stationed at a US Naval base on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with an expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children.

A secondary romance, between a US lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman, explores his fears of the social consequences should he wed his Asian sweetheart.

The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, most controversially in the lieutenant’s song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”.

Supporting characters, including a comic petty officer and the Tonkinese girl’s mother, help to tie the stories together.

Other songs from the score include “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “There is Nothing Like a Dame”, “Happy Talk”, “Younger Than Springtime” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy.”

“There Is Nothing Like A Dame” from the 1958 film version of “South Pacific”

The original 1949 Broadway production starred Mary Martin, a frequent visitor to Bermuda who appeared in tourism ads for the island alongside the legendary Talbot Brothers in the 1950s.

“All those who wish to audition should contact Deborah Smith–Joell at 735-1547 or via e-mail at auditions@gands.bm to schedule a specific time for an audcition,” said a G&S Society spokesman. “They should be generally familiar with the story, characters and music of ‘South Pacific’ and should, if possible, prepare an audition piece and fill in and bring an audition form.

General audition instructions, a synopsis and cast list, including the types of actors sought and skills needed, can be found at the G&S Society website at www.gands.bm

Excerpts of the script, forms and musical pieces from the show will also be made available at the audition.


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