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31 August 2007
South Pacific Opens Love Filled Season for CAST

Love is in the air this year at JSU /McClellan Theatre as CAST (Community Actors' Studio Theatre) presents its 2007 – 08 season of timeless stories of love as told through drama, comedy and song.

The adoration begins at 8:00 p.m. September 7; the opening night of CAST’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific (preview showing September 6). Considered by many to be the greatest musical of all time, South Pacific features the worldwide standards, “Some Enchanted Evening”,“Younger Than Springtime,” ”Bali, Ha’i” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” among many other well-known tunes.

The winner of an impressive nine Tony awards during its first 1949 Broadway run, South Pacific is based on James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, itself the winner of the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The musical takes place on a South Pacific island during World War II where a young US Navy Nurse Nellie Forbush, meets and falls in love with the world-weary French planter Emile de Becque. Nothing can be so simple during love and war; however, and the two are soon pulled a part by the demands of conflict, honor and society.

Jennie Wall takes on the role of Nellie Forbush in the CAST production, while the Rev. David Rice assumes the role of Emile de Beque. Both Wall, the director of the Anniston Christian Academy Concert Choir, and Rice, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Anniston, have a wealth of experience in music performance. Wall received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Birmingham-Southern College, then graduated to singing major roles in opera and musical theater, both in community and professional performance venues. She now maintains a vibrant voice studio in the Anniston area.

Rice earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from North Park University in Chicago, IL, and a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Northwestern University. His leading roles with a number of American regional opera companies led to his appearances as an oratorio and concert soloist, then work with the late Robert Shaw in concerts given in southern France and with the Stockholm Radio Orchestra, Sweden. Rice moved to Germany in 1989, where he was engaged as baritone soloist with the Opera Theater of Wuppertal. In 1996, he returned to the United States and entered Columbia Theological Seminary and in 2000, moved to Anniston with his wife and children.

Many other talented performers will join wall and Rice onstage. Caleb Clark, best known to CAST audiences as Curley from last year's hit production of Oklahoma!, will portray Joseph Cable, the young US Lieutenant distressed by his love of Liat, the beautiful island native portrayed here by Georgia Cook.

CAST favorites Vivian Howard, (“Bloody Mary”), Glenn Davenport, (“Luther Billis), Phillip Sherrill, (“Cmdr. Harbison), Matt Burleigh, (“Professor”), and newcomers Tim Cser, (“Stewpot”) and Joe Escue, (”Capt. Brackett,”) lead a large supporting cast of singers and dancers. CAST Artistic Director Kimberley Dobbs directs.

South Pacific will run at the JSU/McClellan Theatre at McClellan each Thursday through Sunday September 6 – 23 with the exception of Friday, September 21. Show times are at 8:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students with discounts given to groups of 12 or more and to the general audiences at Thursday night performances.

Most audience members, however, will find that they will benefit by the purchase of a CAST season pass, on sale now by calling (256) 820-2278.

For the purchase price of $50, adult audience members will also receive tickets to the other, equally compelling, love stories that round out CAST’s 2007-08 season. November 1–11, CAST will present The Rainmaker, the classic play by N. Richard Nash that became the classic movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster. Beginning in 2008, love takes on a lighter tone as CAST presents Dearly Beloved, the side-splitting comedy by the author of Dearly Departed, February 7 –17, and the musical Once Upon A Mattress, a comedic take on the Princess and the Pea fairy tale, April 24 – May 11.

To purchase a season ticket, or to make reservations, call the CAST box office at (256) 820-CAST.

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