Fairbury Jr./Sr. High to present ‘South Pacific’
FAIRBURY - Tickets are now on sale for Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School’s annual fall stage production, “South Pacific,” which will run for three performances on the weekend preceding Thanksgiving.
The show features 36 seventh- through 12th-graders on stage and several stage crew members. It follows last year’s “The Little Mermaid,” which drew over 185 to each performance in Fairbury’s own Burkley Fine Arts Center that accommodates about 350.
Featuring a special live, two-piano arrangement, directors Joseph Fitzgerald, Daniel David and Natalie Julin-McCleary say audiences should prepare themselves to experience humor, love, despair, and everything in between with familiar showtunes like “Some Enchanted Evening” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.”
“When picking a show, we have several considerations in mind,” Fitzgerald said. “We like to offer variety to students from year-to-year, but we also have to consider if we are going to be able to adequately meet the casting requirements.”
Unlike previous years, junior high students were welcomed this year to audition to be a part of the cast or crew.
“Theater and opera were such a big part of my musical involvement and development growing up, and our K-8 school kids haven’t traditionally had an opportunity for that until they reach high school,” says Fitzgerald. “This is the most immediate way for me to give some of them that opportunity.”
While several of FHS’s most recent musicals have brought the familiar magic of Disney to the stage, South Pacific will take audiences to a real time in the history of our country. The absence of fantasy, however, does not make this musical any less magical.
Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature french planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native, and unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he’s fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe’s life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.
Leads in the show include Michaela Buchli as Nellie Forbush, Jayson Klaumann as Emile de Becque, Taylea Mills as Bloody Mary, Dakota Gladson as Lt. Joe Cable, and Taylor Runge as Luther Billis. Barb Bedlan and Mary Johnson will perform the two piano accompaniment and will be joined by other students and community members to fill out the pit orchestra.
Show times are Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the general public are $8 and $6 for students. VIP tickets are also available for $15 and guarantee a reserved seat. Purchase available tickets at the door or ahead of time by calling 402.729.6116 or emailing email@example.com. If interested in volunteering your abilities, time, or efforts please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. It is adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener.
South Pacific is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatrials: www.rnh.com.