South Pacific

The Rubicon Theatre of Ventura’s production of “South Pacific” continues through Dec. 23, at the company’s home in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District, at 1006 E. Main Street (the corner of Main and Laurel).

“South Pacific” premiered on Broadway in 1949 and became the second-longest running Broadway musical after “Oklahoma!,” winning eight Tony Awards (Best Musical, Best Libretto and Best Score and Tony Awards in all four acting categories).

In 1950, South Pacific received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and for the first time, the committee included a composer (Richard Rodgers) in the drama prize. The Broadway Lincoln Center revival in 2008 won seven Tony Awards.

The plot of “South Pacific” follows two love stories about seeming-opposites brought together by the circumstances of war and torn apart by prejudice and fear. In the core story, Nellie Forbush (Madison Claire Parks), a naïve American nurse from a small town, falls in love with Emile deBecque (Ben Davis), a sophisticated man with a mysterious past. In the second, Joe Cable, a Marine lieutenant from Philadelphia, finds himself drawn to Liat, a young native girl.

The timeless score includes ballads such as “Younger the Springtime” and “Some Enchanted Evening,” exuberant up-tempo songs like “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” comic character numbers like “There Is Nothing Like a Dame” and driving anthems like the ever-timely “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.”

Ovation Award-winner Brent Crayon serves as musical director and first keyboard player and Lee Martino (multiple Ovation and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards) is the choreographer.

Showtimes are 8 p.m., Dec. 14, 21 and 22; 2 p.m. Dec. 19 and Dec. 22; and 7 p.m., Dec. 16, 20 and 23. Tickets cost $25 to $65. Both Dec. 15 performances are sold out.

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