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Pittsburgh CLO to perform Rodgers and Hammerstein classic 'South Pacific'

| Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Cast of 'South Pacific'
Matt Polk
Cast of 'South Pacific'

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are most fondly remembered for producing songs that have stood the test of time.

The score of “South Pacific” that Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera will perform from Aug. 5 through 14 is no exception.

The score contains love songs, which include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” “I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy” and “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” that are as fresh as they were when the musical debuted in 1949.

But “South Pacific” is not just a frothy musical of sailors and nurses romping through hijinks and romance on a tropical isle. Like many of Rodgers and Hammerstein's works, “South Pacific” also explores darker topics. Set on a remote army base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during World War II, the story follows two deeply in love couples whose continuing happiness may be destroyed if they cannot see past their ethnic and racial differences.

Pittsburgh CLO has recruited Broadway performers Erika Henningsen and Ben Davis to play the star-struck lovers, young Ensign Nellie Forbush and the more worldly Emile de Becque.

The younger couple, Lt. Joseph Cable and Bali H'ai native Liat, will be played by Broadway performer James Snyder and Alex Manalo, who has had roles at Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr. and Stage Right.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Benedum Center, Downtown. Admission is $25.75 to $80.75.Details: 412-456-6666 or pittsburghCLO.org

Alice T. Carter is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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