Opening of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific is Radiant

The orchestra of Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in Los Angeles sets the stage for brilliance. In the pit, wonderfully gifted musicians make the stage come alive.

Many people go to the theatre to experience the essence of the stage performance, to view the costumes, to see the choreography, the unveiling of a story, to engage in the allurement of the subtle and obvious lessons presented by the producers, directors, and writers. The production can leave an imprint that stays with you long after the show is over.

Much of the framework that is meticulously created is the genius of individual innovative master minds dressed in black and white in the pit of the stage. These gems paint beauty through the musical score that
takes one beyond anything happening on the stage.

Musicians positioned in the pit of the orchestra, set the scene of elation, doom, trepidation, triumph, sweetness, anger, pleasure, surprise, peace, turmoil, tragedy, laughter, tears, darkness and grief, dawn and sunrise. They tell the saga without words that only a few can understand, while expressing feelings, language, and union that includes the five senses and beyond. Their voice can and does reach every section of any theatre.

This was the encounter given by the orchestra of the opening performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific" at the Ahmanson Theatre on May 27th, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA.

Conducted by Lawrence Goldberg, the musicians provided a warm exquisiteness dusted with angelic hints. The score of music had precise correlation with the story and performers on stage while providing an intense contrast that was intriguing throughout the night.

Erin Hill on Harp gave a pleasing air as Cliff Hulling on Percussion, Vladimir Polimaridi, Francine Walsh, Jennifer Choi, Mark Cargill, Sally Berman on Violin, Diane Gilbert, Harry Shirinian on Viola, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, and Miguel Martinez on Cello all added individual accents and artistry. Ken Wild on Bass provided an arresting pulsation - amalgamated, untarnished and satisfying.

The Brass component consisted of Chris Eble, Daniel Fornero, Marissa Benedict on Trumpet, Robert Payne, Craig Ware on Trombone, Joe Meyer, Paul Klintworth on French horn. Individually the caliber of musicianship presented was magical. Through the evening each provided precisely what was needed to highlight the production.

What words can accurately articulate the Woodwind section of this very engaged orchestra? They are in genre that's all to be marveled. This group of musicians took us to moments of absolute elation.

Patricia Cloud on Flute and Piccolo and Jonathan Davis was on Oboe.

Phil O' Connor and Steven Roberts were on other Woodwinds.

The resonance, intonation, intensity, color, and depth that Patricia Cloud presented on Flute and Piccolo was matchless. I found myself awaiting her solos with anticipation and other audience members around
me were doing the same. There is a hauntingly glorious sound Ms. Cloud shares that captures one into the essence of the music, scenery, and musical.

Ms. Cloud's musicality and innovative sound is all encompassing and her very own.

Jonathan Davis on Oboe is a force of beautiful exhilaration denoting a perceptive artistry.

Mr. Davis possesses profoundness in every passage he plays, always linking with the moment. His sensitivity and warmth is beautiful to experience.

"Some Enchanted Evening", "Bali Ha'i", "Younger than Springtime", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "Dites Moi", "Happy Talk", "South Pacific: Symphonic Scenario for Concert Orchestra" are just some of the enduring pieces performed that were unforgettable.

Impeccable space and timing were given to each piece of music and attention to the vocalist throughout the reflective story that is set in a time of war in the U.S. in the 1940-50's. The selections and theatrical show offered themes on racial, cultural, generational, gender and sexual challenges which to our present day are cause for quandary and ignorance.

The story moves in a harmonious fashion that includes humor and sadness. It is the romantic account of 2 different couples whose lives become connected through the war. The culmination was a bittersweet fragrance as is often true of daily life.

Rod Gilfry acts as the handsome plantation owner - Emile de Becque and Carmen Cusack as Ensign Nellie Forbush, the woman with whom he falls in love. Anderson Davis is Lt. Joseph Cable, soldier that falls in a
love affair forbidden only by the sad prejudices of his lineage, environment and mind.

Liat is the beautiful daughter played by Sumie Maeda. She is the daughter of”Bloody Mary" played by Keala Settle who is a local woman acts as a saleswoman of various unusual souvenirs.

The all vocalist performers in the story superbly vocalize the tale in a manner that is contemplative, candid and enduring.

The orchestra however began and sealed the performance that made for a great adventure in music and theatre.

I highly recommend this performance to anyone and everyone interested in a glorious musical and theatre encounter.

"South Pacific" runs at the Ahmanson Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles through July 17th 2010.

Mark Taper Forum & Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.

135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
at the corner of North Grand Ave and West Temple Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Views: 169


You need to be a member of Leimert Park Beat to add comments!

Join Leimert Park Beat

Leimert Park Beat is the news and social network for Leimert Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Stay informed. Join now!


• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.


With your help, raised money to hire reporters, graphic artists and community members to cover our area.
Read the stories - Urban Economy 411, Redevelopment Hell and One of these don't belong.

Latest Activity

Mistah Wilson posted a blog post

The Jewish Community Weaponized Hip Hop Against Black People

Is it not yet painfully obvious that the so-called European Jewish community has profited off of the destruction of…See More
Nov 23
Dr. Angela Butts Chester posted a blog post

AUTHORITY MAGAZINE: 5 Ways Empathy Will Affect Your Leadership

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is increasingly recognized as a pivotal leadership…See More
Nov 15
Dr. Angela Butts Chester posted a blog post

The Ocean Within: Symbolism of Water in the Bible | Now on Amazon

ANNOUNCEMENT: EBOOK NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON"The Ocean Within: Symbolism of Water in the Bible" has revealed the powerful…See More
Nov 10
Dr. Angela Butts Chester posted a blog post

The Power of She: Encouraging Women to Embrace Their Strengths

The Power of She: Encouraging Women to Embrace Their Strengths is an inspiring self-help book that aims to empower women to…See More
Oct 31
DojO- updated an event

Wuz Happenin' @ The 'new' World STAGE Sept 2023 - Concert Series + / Livestream / Workshops 'n' Jamz Я Back *updatez* at The 'new' World STAGE (online events 'n in-house)

September 1, 2023 at 11:30am to September 30, 2023 at 11pm
Fri. nite wkly "Concert Series"  8PM PT Live In-House $20 (donation based) <or>Livestream: YouTube or Facebook/Meta+ Special events (not Concert Series)..*Sept*  1st - …See More
Sep 23
DojO- posted blog posts
Sep 18
DojO- posted photos
Sep 15
DojO- posted a blog post
Sep 13

© 2023   Created by enhager.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service