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South Pacific: Paradise Rewritten (Broadway Legacies) 1st Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195377026
ISBN-10: 0195377028
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Lovensheimer's remarkable account of "South Pacific" firmly situates the show in late 1940s America, showing how Rodgers and Hammerstein used their 'enchanted evening' also to explore issues of race, gender, and national identity still resonant today."-Tim Carter, David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of "Oklahoma!" The Making of an American Musical


"With this extraordinary new book, Jim Lovensheimer portrays a multidimensional "South Pacific" -- one that not only soared with beautiful melodies but also addressed major social and political issues of its day, from racism to colonialism. Lucid and enlightening, South Pacific: Paradise Rewritten sets a model for studying Broadway's iconic shows in meaningful contexts."-Carol J. Oja, William Powell Mason Professor, Harvard University


"Jim Lovensheimer traces how Rodgers and Hammerstein transformed James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a Broadway smash hit. In considering why "South Pacific" remains lodged in our collective unconscious, he ingeniously teases out its postwar racial politics, gender constructions, and colonial discourse."-bruce d. mcclung, University of Cincinnati, and author of "Lady in the Dark": Biography of a Musical


"Fascinating. Unquestionably a major addition to the literature on this particular show, on Rodgers and Hammerstein, and on the American musical in general." -TalkinBroadway.com


"[An] invigorating study...a highly enlightening book on the act of creating a musical itself." --Times Literary Supplement


"A very thorough, meticulous, and engrossing study of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific...May serve as a model for other books and other landmark Broadway musical." --Fontes Artis Musicae


"Covers a wide range of fascinating aspects of South Pacific, providing a scene by scene and issue by issue discussion of how this musical came to be." --Brad Hathaway - Theater Shelf


About the Author


Jim Lovensheimer is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Broadway Legacies
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195377028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195377026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.8 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Freyda Thomas on March 21, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another biography of a musical written by an egghead, in the dreaded, dense, dessicated style of all academic professionals, who write for each other and not a wider audience. I can't recommend this to the general public.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very well researched account of the politics and theatrics behind the creation and development of the show and I found it deeply intresting and informative. A light gossip, this ain't, I can tell ya. It's a scholarly piece of work, intended to bring to the fore the sensibilities of the day, in particular, the ascpcts of racism abroard at the time and the dangers of approaching them in a musical.
Hammerstein had gone down this path before, in 'Show Boat'and it was dear to his heart.
There is a rarity of imformation around about the details concerning writing and producing these great works and the theatre lovers among us have a deep and abiding interest in the field.
I was dissapointed in another book of the genre, 'Second Act Trouble', which failed, in my view, to shed much light on the vexatious problems of the Second Act in musicals, long an issue for writers and producers alike, but this book, while perhaps somewhat top heavy with detail, nevertheless succeeds.
Well worth a read and I'm looking forward to more in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story of turning James A. Michener's book TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC into the musical "South Pacific" touches on a number of interesting aspects as final decisions were made by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers about the characters and their stories, the melding of lyrics and music, and the underlying message throughout that is finally addressed in the powerful song "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught." This became and has remained one of my all-time favorite movies after I saw it with my family when I was a teenager and began playing its songs on the piano. My friendship with a Vietnamese refugee, which began when we were both young adults, truly changed my life; she became my "fairy godmother" and introduced me to my future husband. I think the lessons I learned from "South Pacific" helped motivate my initial approach to her as we waited together in winter weather for a bus to work. This book has given me a new appreciation for the brilliance of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author makes a good case for the idea that Rogers and Hammerstein pushed the envelope as far as they dared in exposing the racial attitudes of Americans in the late 1940s while still producing a commercially successful show. In discussing Hammerstein's personal commitment to racial equality in his work, "Showboat," the 1920s show with music by Jerome Kern, does deservedly receive some attention. What gets left out completely is Hammerstein's role in the 1943 production of "Carmen Jones." This update of Bizet's opera, "Carmen," with lyrics by Hammerstein, not only used an all African-American cast, a truly rare event on Broadway, but it cast newcomers in the lead roles. What makes this omission even stranger is that the author has a discussion of the opera "Carmen" as part of his musical analysis of "South Pacific."

Despite that gap, I found the book informative and it open up ideas about the show that I found stimulating. It is, however, a book for readers with some musical knowledge. It contains highly technical analyses of many songs that the novice will find incomprehensible.
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