Alexa Jenkins, Copy Editor
Musicals are proof that life lessons are best learned through a little song and dance. “South Pacific,” the latest production by the Mississippi College Music Department, is no exception. This musical, set during World War II, features two relationships that must survive war and prejudice. Sam Lovorn, a junior who recently transferred to Mississippi College, says MC students need to know that “there really is something in the musical for everyone on campus. Whether you’re into romance, war, dramatic moments, comedy, music (obviously)…the musical probably has it.”
Chris Roebuck, the educational director of Jackson’s New Stage Theatre, is directing the show, and Kristen Gunn is the musical director. Tyler Kemp, a new MC faculty member, is providing piano accompaniment and directing the orchestra. The cast prominently features MC students, who are very excited to share the play with the student body. In addition to those students are high school actors, members of the Metro-Jackson community, and special guest lead Patton Rice. Rice is known for his work with the Mississippi Opera and performances in the Southeast region, and plays the role of Emile de Becque. MC Music students Olivia Broome and Jamie Ferguson are playing the female lead, Nellie Forbush. Nicholas Ford and Charlie Bell play Lt. Joe Cable, Maggie Chancellor and Sarah Welch play Bloody Mary, William Crutcher and Sam Lovorn play Luther Billis, and Satrina Massey and Lee Waits play Liat.
The music, of course, is a major part of the show. “Honey Bun” and “Some Enchanted Evening” stand out as favorite songs among the cast. Jamie Ferguson says she also loves performing “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair,” as the girls onstage are “a joy.”
“‘South Pacific’ is great because it not only has fun dance numbers and songs, but it also makes you think deeply about things like racism and courage and love,” comments cast member Charlie Bell. Ferguson added that audiences can watch her character grow as she, too, learns about those things. Serious themes are carried throughout the show through song and dance in an enjoyable, moving way.
The show began its run in the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall in Aven Fine Arts Building on Sept. 18, and upcoming evening performances are on Sept. 25,26,and 27 at 7:00 p.m. There will be one more Sunday matinees at 2pm on Sept. 28. For tickets call 601.925.3440, email email@example.com or go online to mc.edu/marketplace.
South Pacific is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: http://www.rnh.com