South Pacific Review – A Magical Evening

An enthusiastic audience standing in appreciation
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With two performances only on the evening of January 20, 2018 and January 21, 2018 in the afternoon the Peninsula Symphony and San Francisco’s celebrated 42nd Street Moon Theater Company collaborated on one of the greatest Rodgers and Hammerstein hits of all time South Pacific. The evening I attended was magical – a wonderful, uplifting experience with South Pacific – LIVE at the Symphony.

South Pacific at Flint from wing

Never having been to the Flint Center previously, my husband and I were impressed with the acoustics and attractiveness as well as its size. The huge orchestra was positioned in front of a large backdrop depicting palm trees, an ocean and it the distance, an island. Lighting was used very effectively to change the look of the backdrop. The magnificent Broadway cast from 42nd Street Moon came to the front of the stage to perform, thus interacting with the orchestra.

South Pacific Full Cast

I have seen South Pacific on stage and in the movies and I was curious about how this staged version would be presented. In short, it was terrific! I had forgotten how magnificent the songs are, one coming after another, and each song as good or better than the one before. In its day it was the longest running musical on Broadway, running for five years. It was the fifth collaboration between composer Richard Rogers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein, based on the 1947 James Michener novel, Tales of the South Pacific, which won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

South Pacific Female Ensemble

Mitchell Sardou Klein, Music Director seemed to coordinate his magnificent orchestra with the drama playing out in front of them. The orchestra’s beautiful sounds matched the songs and spoken word perfectly.

South Pacific Backdrop and Full Cast

I must admit that it wasn’t until show had moved through a few songs that I was able to “wash Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza out of my head” and appreciate how well Marisa Cozart as Ensign Nellie Forbush and Derrick Silva as Emilie de Becque as well as Jackie de Muro as Bloody Mary inhabited their roles. All of the voices were clear, as were the words that are so important. The songs continue to play in my head. Kelly Krauss Cooper’s charming choreography was a bonus and to me a lovely surprise. Daren A. C. Carollo was the director.


The Peninsula Symphony is a polished 90-plus member orchestra of well-trained community musicians under the direction of conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein. Find out more about the Peninsula Symphony including their upcoming fundraiser at the peninsulasymphony website


Read more about 42nd Street Moon by visiting the 42ndstmoon website


Photos: Courtesy of the Peninsula Symphony

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