Light Opera Works Presents South Pacific Review- A Journey Through the Battles of Love and War

It’s amazing how just stage scenes can take an audience back in time to a world far from here, and an amazing cast of course. Light Opera Works captured Rogers and Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical South Pacific with a 30-piece orchestra at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, IL. The musical runs August 15 through 30 and is sure to make you want to sing.  

Nellie and Emile

The musical follows two couples from different worlds on a Pacific Island during World War II; a young nurse from “the sticks” of America who meets and falls in love with a well-off French plantation owner and a young American Lieutenant who is enchanted by a young Polynesian woman. The couples soon find that love isn’t as easy as they would like it to be, especially when war is in the middle of it.

Liat (Victoria M. Ng) and Lt. Joseph Cable (Justin Adair) embrace after meeting for the first time on the island of Bali Hai

Directed and choreographed by Light Opera Works artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller and conducted by music director Roger L. Bingaman take on the offstage roles of creating South Pacific. The performance includes classic songs “Some Enchanted Evening,” Younger Than Springtime” and “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” The talented cast includes; Larry Adams (Emile de Becque), Sarah Larson (Nellie Forbush), Yvonne Strumecki (Bloody Mary), Justin Adair (Lt. Joseph Cable) and Brain Zane (Luther Billis) whose voices filled the auditorium with beautiful song that you are sure to be humming on the ride home.

Lt. Joseph Cable, Capt. George Brackett (Kirk Swenk), Emile and Cmdr. William Harbison (Alan Rowe) discuss a war plan

South pacific is Light Opera Works’ second production of 2015. The season will continue with the concert production Hollywood’s Greatest Song Hits running October 2-11 and Guys and Dolls, which can be seen December 26 through January 3, 2016.

Nellie, Seabees and other nurses at the beach

Light Opera Works is a resident professional non-for-profit theater in Evanston, IL founded in 1980. The company aims to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions presented in English, with foreign works done in carefully edited modern translations. Audiences will experience repertoire often unavailable on the stages of commercial theaters and opera houses, in modern productions with professional artists and a full orchestra.

Nellie (Sara Larson) and Emile (Larry Adams) after a dinner party

An old classic brought back to life; South Pacific definitely blew me out of my chair. The musical will make you laugh and it will make you cry but ultimately make you feel the struggles of life and love those who were sent overseas during time of war faced. 

For more information or to order tickets, please visit Light Opera Work’s website here or call the box office at (847) 920-5360.

 Photos by Mona Luan 

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