Monday, April 28, 2014

Music Review: South Pacific: In Concert from Carnegie Hall

South Pacific: In Concert from Carnegie Hall, Rhino Entertainment Corp., 2006.
This is not a musical, but in fact a concert, although they did add some action and some costuming.  I mean, what would the scene with Luther Billis (Alec Baldwin) in the Thanksgiving program be without Billis dressed up with a coconut brassiere.   Reba McEntire takes the roll of Nellie Forbush and Brian Stokes Mitchell as the love struck Frenchman Emile de Becque.  The Orchestra of Saint Lukes provides the music.  The other notable roles are Jason Danieley as Lt. Cable who does an excellent job of singing “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” dealing with racism.    Lillian White portrays Bloody Mary, who is intent on her daughter marrying the Lieutenant, but thwarted by prejudism, and then the war takes his life. 
The thing this movie has going for it is MeEntire and Stokes Mitchell.  They are both veterans of the music scene, McEntire in country music and Stokes Mitchell in musical theater and opera.  Their voices carry the presentation.  The rendition of “Some Enchanted Evening” is very beautiful.  As are all of the reprises.  Even though I would never have cast Baldwin as Luther Billis, “Honey Bun” is just a hoot.  Maybe it’s the music, or just the scene but even in the medium of a concert this song is very enjoyable. 
This presentation is enjoyable, and except for a couple parts of people finding their places in the script, it flows very well.

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