South Pacific

Beef & Boards

Directed by Eddie Curry

Through Nov. 19

As Indy moves into cooler temperatures, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre transports us to warmer climates with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

Set during World War II, Americans have set up a base on an island in the South Pacific. But war won’t stop human nature, and the love story touches on pride and prejudice.

Deb Wims as Ensign Nellie Forbush falls in love with a Frenchman, Emile de Becque, played by Steven Edward Moore. But when she discovers he has two children by an island woman, her intolerance makes her call off the engagement. At the same time, Lt. Joseph Cable, played by Joseph Sark, falls for an island girl, Liat (Lisa Villamaria), but he is also a slave to his misconceptions and refuses to marry her.

Wims gives a spirited performance and carries the well-known tunes solidly, performing an exceptionally bouncy “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair.” Sark’s passionate “You Have to Be Carefully Taught” drives the theme of prejudice home.

But it is Moore’s “Some Enchanted Evening” that is the highlight of the show. His is the kind of performance of a beloved R&H song that brings the audiences out for classic musicals like this one.

Overall, the cast does very natural work and interacts well. Sadly, however, the character of Luther Billis, played by Jeff Stockberger, is reduced to a cartoon in the pursuit of comic relief. His number with the other sailors, “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” is cute, though.

Costuming (Thom Hoffman) and sets (Michael Layton) are effective, choreography (Doug King) is punchy, lighting (Layton) is suitably atmospheric and, except for his handling of Billis, Eddie Curry directs a very fine show.

South Pacific continues through Nov. 19. Tickets are $29-$51. Call the box office, 317-872-9664, for reservations. B&B is located at 9301 N. Michigan Road.

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