Live from Carnegie Hall: South Pacific
Carnegie Hall, in association with Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, presents The Sound of Music on Tuesday, April 24.
Sure to be a magical evening of enchanting, memorable music, this presentation follows in the footsteps of other landmark musical productions at the Hall, including Show Boat, Carousel, and—the subject of this week's Live from Carnegie Hall post—South Pacific.
Artist: Various, including Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Alec Baldwin, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Paul Gemignani, and Walter Bobbie
Album: Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific in concert from Carnegie Hall
Label: Decca Broadway
Date Recorded: June 9, 2005
Fun Fact: Selections from South Pacific were first performed at Carnegie Hall on March 17, 1950—less than a year after the opening of the original Broadway production—by Sigmund Romberg and His Concert Orchestra.
On June 9, 2005, the Hall was packed in anticipation of an evening of spectacular music and entertainment, with a concert presentation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein favorite, South Pacific. The audience was not disappointed. In a piece entitled "Sultry City Night Is Transformed Into an Enchanted Bali Ha'i," The New York Times theater critic wrote, "Those fortunate enough to attend this one-night-only benefit for Carnegie Hall had the privilege of experiencing the emotional force of South Pacific."
As well as enjoying the performance of country music superstar Reba McEntire—who The New York Times described as "a natural for musicals, with a big, gliding voice that blurs the lines between conversation and song"—the "fortunate" ones got to witness Alec Baldwin in a grass skirt, floral headwear, and coconut-shell bikini-top—"a comic paradigm of understated gruffness," according to the same review. In an interview with PBS, Brian Stokes Mitchell reflected that "at Carnegie Hall, everything is special. You still have scripts in your hand, you’ve only worked with the orchestra briefly, and much of your energy is to get it right and not fall on your face. At the same time, it is a thrilling experience."
In the words of The New York Times' Ben Brantley, "It was one of those nights when cynicism didn't stand a chance."
Reba McEntire, Alec Baldwin, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Photos by Chris Lee.
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