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Casting announced as rehearsals begin for 'South Pacific'

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Now in preparation for the next show at the Paper Mill Playhouse is the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “South Pacific.” The show will be directed by Rob Ruggiero and choreographed by Ralph Perkins.

Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener, the show features a well known score and includes songs such as “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Younger Than Springtime.” The show is a story of romance and love set against a background of a lush tropical island during World War II. It won many Tony Awards and revived as a Broadway show in 2008 when it again won a new round of Tony Awards.

Leading this cast will be Erin Mackey (Broadway in Chaplin: The Musical, Anything Goes, Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked) as Ensign Nellie Forbush, Jason Howard (performer with major opera companies and orchestras including the Royal Opera, Paris Opera, Frankfurt Opera and Teatro Colón) as Emile de Becque, Loretta Ables Sayre (2008 Tony Nominee for this role in the Broadway revival of the show) as Bloody Mary, Tally Sessions (in the ensemble of Big Fish on Broadway) as Luther Billis, Doug Carpenter (regional productions of The Most Happy Fella, Camelot, West Side Story and Cinderella) as Lt. Joe Cable , and Jessica Wu (on Broadway in A Chorus Line and was featured in the national tours of The King and I, Miss Saigon and The Wizard of Oz) as Liat.

The cast also includes Jordan Lage as Capt. George Brackett, Paper Mill Playhouse alumnus Rob Richardson as Cmdr. William Harbison, Ryan Andes as Stewpot and Scott Anthony Joy as the Professor.

The young actors playing Jerome and Ngana were cast at an open-call audition at Paper Mill Playhouse. Bonale Fambrini (Millburn, NJ) will play Jerome and Gabby Gutierrez (Springfield, NJ) will play Ngana. Avery Espiritu (East Hanover, NJ) and Sydney Veloso (Summit, NJ) are the alternates for Jerome and Ngana, respectively.

Rounding out the ensemble are: Andrés Acosta, Faye Bautista, Grady McLeod Bowman, Will Burton, Meggie Cansler, Matt Faucher, Joanne Javien, Caitlin Maloney, Christian Marriner, George Merrick, Brian Ogilvie, Samantha Joy Pearlman, Michael Scirrotto, Paige Sommerer, Ryan Steer, Jeff Sullivan, Teddy Tinson, Grace Wales and Gregory Williams.

“South Pacific” will begin performances in Millburn on April 9 and continue through May 4, 2014. It will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. The Performance Schedule is: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. For ticket information and/or purchase, call 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

Special Note:

The following Free Audience Enrichment Activities will be available for “South Pacific.”

April 9 – 6:30pm – The Director’s Viewpoint – Complimentary coffee will be served in the Art Gallery as Director Rob Ruggiero discusses “South Pacific.”

April 10, 17, 24 – 6:30pm – The Conversation Club will meet in the Mezzanine to talk about the show. These sessions are led by members of the Paper Mill’s Artistic and Education Departments.

May 3 – Following the Matinee in the Orchestra – Q & A with the Cast – Meet the cast and ask the actors questions about the show or role they are portraying.

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