A colorful set featuring a tropical paradise complete with grass skirts and flowered leis is now going up for the Briarwood production of South Pacific scheduled March 25 and 26.
"It's going to be a great production. The set has been fun for the kids," said Play Director Jeanie Joesbury. Briarwood students will present tales of romance in the lush south Pacific during wartime with the popular play based on the book by American novelist James Michener. That book won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1949.
"I selected the play because I felt it would best showcase the talents of our current students," said Mrs. Joesbury.
The Briarwood cast is filled with gifted vocalists who will get a chance to shine through a variety of songs from romantic to humorous.
"We have a real strong men's section in the middle school and high school chorus and we also have some great solo voices that would be showcased in the beautiful music that is in South Pacific," Mrs. Joesbury said.
Wendi Wilson is cast as Nellie Forbush, a vivacious Navy nurse who falls for French planter Emile de Becque, played by Joseph Baldwin.
Joseph, who attended governor's honors in vocal performance last summer and has been a member of all state chorus for two years, is an overall great musician, Mrs. Joesbury said. In addition, Wendi, a seasoned performer, has had a leading role in the past two musicals, Oklahoma and Brigadoon.
The lifestyles of Nellie, a conservative Arkansas girl, and Emile, the mysterious older planter, are vastly different and complicate their romance. While they struggle to understand each other, a parallel romance occurs between Lt. Joe Cable, played by Davis Griffin, and the daughter of Tonkinese trader Bloody Mary, played by Anna Harden. Other roles include Jeffrey Kent as Luther Billis, Kelley Wills as Ensign Janet MacGregor, and Alli Wood as Ensign Dinah Murphy.
The two love stories cross as the lieutenant and the planter embark on a dangerous WWII mission behind enemy lines, and tragic wartime circumstances force the characters to confront and ultimately conquer their own prejudices.
The Briarwood production features Brent Odom as pianist and choreography is by Matthew Rivers.
Tickets to the production, scheduled for 7 p.m. March 25 and 26 at the school are $8 in advance and $9 at the door.