Pay-What-You-Can Preview of SOUTH PACIFIC This Friday

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 12, 2013

“I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into the spray. And inner lagoons lovely beyond description. I wish I could tell you about the endless jungle. The full moon rising behind the volcanoes. And the waiting. The waiting. The timeless, repetitive waiting. But whenever I start to talk about the South Pacific…people intervene. I try to tell somebody what the steaming Hebrides were like. And the first thing you know I’m telling about the old Tonkinese woman. Who used to sell human heads. As souvenirs. For fifty dollars!” [James A. Michener, Tales of the South Pacific]

When South Pacific was first produced and in rehearsal, the director, Josh Logan, had every intent of firing the young man cast as Lieutenant Cable after the first week of rehearsal. He had planned on doing so first thing Monday morning. It was a done deal.

Mary Martin, the star of South Pacific, caught wind of it and asked the young man to come back to her hotel room after rehearsal and to bring his costume. Miss Mary (as she was lovingly referred to by everyone fortunate enough to have worked with her) dyed the young man’s hair blonde and curled it, then had him turn his costume inside-out and hand-stitched it with him in it so it would fit like the proverbial glove.

When Monday morning rolled around, Mr. Logan walked into rehearsal and asked the identity of the handsome new juvenile playing Lieutenant Cable.

Thank you, Miss Mary, for saving that man’s job. There are endless stories about that little Texas girl’s professional kindness, humanity and human integrity.

Costumes now come from the Roxy basement, or from Meredith Gildrie’s expertise and Hancock Fabric or Joyce Turner’s Fabric Outlet, or are rented from Eves Van Horn. But for South Pacific, we have David Coate and his Pack Rat plethora of military uniform, which we have been able to use for Biloxi Blues, Miss Saigon, U.S. in ’45, All Quiet on the Western Front and even props for The Red Badge of Courage.

Today, July 12, at 2pm, this summer’s superb young interns will give their free “informance” of Thornton Wilder’s The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. You might want to come and see what talented young people are in our community and perhaps shop at the many different and varied shops which we have in downtown Clarksville’s city center and then have dinner at Edward’s, right across the street from the Roxy, before seeing the opening night of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic musical South Pacific.

Tonight at 8pm is, as usual, our pay-what-you-can performance of South Pacific, which is to say that all tickets not previously sold at the regular price can be purchased at 7:30pm for whatever you wish to pay.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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