‘South Pacific’ opens at Canyon Crest Academy

There’s a tropical island in the middle of Carmel Valley as Canyon Crest Academy sets sail on “South Pacific” this weekend. A mature high school cast takes on the play set on an island in World War II that is brimming with sailors, nurses and enchanted evenings.

“South Pacific,” which opens tonight and runs through Nov. 15, will be the largest musical in Canyon Crest’s short history, featuring a cast of 42 talented students. The cast almost doubles last year’s 25-member “Grease” cast.

“South Pacific” follows Nellie Forbush (junior Emma Stratton), a Navy nurse from Arkansas who is a self-described “Cockeyed Optimist.” The young Forbush finds herself falling for Emile (senior Spencer Meredith), an older, French-born plantation owner with a mysterious past.

Along for the ride with Nellie is an island full of women-deprived sailors, the most enterprising of which is Luther Billis, played by junior Patrick Kelley. Kelley oozes a 1940s-brand of sleaze that still comes off a bit charming.

The bored sailors are all big fans of local grass-skirt seller Bloody Mary (Erin Wuthrich), who tells them stories about all the beautiful women that are just out of reach on Bal’i Hai. Wuthrich’s beautiful voice on “Bal’i Hai” is a first act highlight.

Other standouts include Stratton in the cute and fun number “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” and in a sweet duet with Meredith on the show’s most well known song, “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Senior Chris Braden also steals scenes with his Commander Brackett character, somehow channeling a bit of George W. Bush.

At the helm for her second musical at Canyon Crest is director Jannine Marquie, a drama teacher at the school and a professional actress. In addition to her teaching and directing duties, she is also in rehearsals for “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a holiday show being put on by Cygnet Theatre. Marquie selected “South Pacific” as its deep themes are relevant to today’s world.

“The idea of prejudice and patriotism, these are all very pertinent topics right at this moment,” Marquie said.

Marquie said a specifically challenging part of the play for the actors was the scene featuring the song, “You Have to Be Carefully Taught,” a raw and angst-laden piece in which the characters are forced to face their own prejudices.

David Weiner, a shop foreman at the La Jolla Playhouse designed the show’s impressive set. Students in the school’s tech theater class, as well as volunteers, built it up from his drawings.

With paint splatters on their oversized T-shirts, students were hard at work last week making the final touches on jungle scenes and fantastic tribal murals.

Every inch of the set is designed, from vines and tropical flowers that dangle from the ceiling to netting draped over the edges of the stage, topped with lanterns and boxes of ammunition.

One will be hard pressed to sit in the theater and not soak up the fun, tropical atmosphere. It’s just pretty darn…enchanting.

‘South Pacific’
- Nov. 7-15
- Canyon Crest Academy
- 5951 Village Center Loop Road
- Tickets: $5-$15
- (858) 350-0253

Related posts:

  1. Truancy issues improve in Canyon Crest neighborhood
  2. Canyon Crest students publish on their own terms
  3. Twins give a one-two punch to Canyon Crest volleyball
  4. Music academy spawns rockers
  5. Jewish Academy finally gets its home games

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=1620

Posted by ziggycute1 on Nov 6, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Look how you’ve grown! La Jolla Secret Garden tour celebrates 16 years
    The upcoming Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, a fundraiser for the La Jolla Historical Society, has come a long way from its first venture in 1999. Event co-founder Linda Marrone said, over time, the committee came up with ways to change and improve the tour, creating the “successful” event it is today. […]
  • La Jolla Community Calendar April 17-24
    Bird Rock Elementary will hold new student registration for the 2014-2105 school year, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Bird Rock Elementary auditorium, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. An enrollment packet can be picked up in the office in advance to be completed before the registration date. (858) 488-0537. […]
  • Thanks for the non-memories
    When I considered whether to go to my 40th high school reunion — my first reunion ever — the first thing I thought about was whether I’d have to confront my high school nemesis, Medusa (not her real name). […]