Thursday, October 12, 2006

'South Pacific' a triumph

In brief:
• Evening performances are offered Tuesday-Sunday with doors opening at 6 p.m., buffet served 6:30-7:30 p.m. And the show beginning at 8 p.m.
• Weekday matinee shows are on Wednesdays and select Thursdays. Sunday matinees are also offered. Doors open at noon, buffet is served 12:15-1 p.m. And the show begins at 1:30 p.m.
• Ticket prices range from $29-$51 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (317) 872-9664.
• Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is located in front of the pyramids, east of Michigan Road on Indianapolis's north side.

“South Pacific” is a triumph for Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre and for its star, Deb Wims.
In 1999, we first saw and reviewed “South Pacific” at Beef & Boards. Some could argue that cast was more experienced and had been around more than the 2006 cast. And, we must admit, we wondered if Mrs. Wims could carry the production as “Nellie Forbush.”
She has been in many shows at Beef & Boards over the past decade, but I do not think she has ever been given the lead.
We were not disappointed. If the measure of a production is its ability to move the audience, then Mrs.Wims and her fellow cast members succeed.
Linda saw Cynthia Thomas (Bloody Mary) and Steven Edward Moore (Emile de Becque) as strong performers, of course. We were both taken with Deb Wims' Nellie and Jeff Stockberger's Billis.
I thought Stockberger's Billis character came across a little too strong at times. It was in danger of going over the top, but Linda disagreed. She just thought he was just funny.
Seven years ago, Billis was played by a different actor. The 2006 Billis is much funnier and relies far more on physical comedy – get the picture. But the whole cast is just excellent.
Joseph Sark as Lt. Joe Cable has a voice as good as Moore's, though higher, as a tenor.
The two little children who play de Becque's half-Polynesian, half-French children, are just as cute as can be as well as talented. They are Courtney Kramer and Mitchell Siefker.
The rest of the large cast does a fine job supporting Wims and Moore.
“South Pacific: is a fine fall production, just what one needs to get ready for the Christmas season.