Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quote of the Day

Steven Suskin weighs in on the New Broadway Cast Recording of South Pacific, as well as the archival video of the original London production with Mary Martin:

It can, however, be a dangerous thing to allow modern-day interpreters to restore material that the authors saw fit to cut; these decisions were usually made for a pretty good reason. Consider Hammerstein and Logan's original ending, which appears in their preliminary script of Jan. 11, 1949 (about eight weeks before the first performance). As the Seabees prepare to ship out, Cable comes back from Marie Louise Island — alive! "Jeez, we all thought you was dead!" says Billis. "I have been, dead and buried. But they dug me up again" says Cable — who immediately arranges to go back to Bali Ha'i, with a priest, to marry Liat. Which would make for a rather different South Pacific, don't you think?

1 comment:

Esther said...

Wow, that's really interesting. I had no idea! I don't think it would have been as good an ending, though. The war was still so fresh in the audience's minds, some of whom may have lost a loved one. I almost think that having Cable come back would have rung false. Whereas, having him die was probably a catharsis for many people. And having him marry Liat may have been way too controversial.