The Pickerington Community Theatre will present its big summer show, South Pacific, for a two-week run starting Friday, July 8 at Heritage Elementary School Theater, 100 N. East St. in Pickerington.

The Pickerington Community Theatre will present its big summer show, South Pacific, for a two-week run starting Friday, July 8 at Heritage Elementary School Theater, 100 N. East St. in Pickerington.

Directed by Chris Gallaugher, who is also the theater company's communications director, the classic musical production first opened on Broadway in 1949 and had a huge impact on a post-World War II audience, winning 10 Tony Awards, Gallaugher said.

South Pacific is set in an island paradise during the war, with two parallel love stories threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war.

The story involves optimist Nellie Forbush, a young nurse, who meets the exotic Emile against the backdrop of the greatest conflict of the 20th century.

"There are a lot of great songs in it," Gallaugher said.

"It's one of those shows that has a little bit of everything: comedy, drama, dance numbers. It's just one of those perfect musicals and a very family-friendly show," he said.

The large cast of 36 is laden with talent, he said.

"Our lead, Nellie Forbush, is played by Kristen Basore," Gallaugher said. "Kristen most recently appeared in the Pleasure Guild's production at the Palace Theatre as Mary Poppins.

"The role of her love interest, Emile, is played by David Hammond, who is a stage veteran of many area shows," Gallaugher said.

South Pacific is particularly unique in that men comprise a large portion of the acting corps, he said.

"I believe audiences will love the fact that we have quite a few men in the cast, (which) is not always common in community theater," Gallaugher said.

"Our choreographer, Jenny Small, has put together a wonderful sequence for 'There's Nothing Like a Dame.' She made these guys work hard. Not that the nurses have it easy, with numbers like 'Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair' and 'Honey Bun,' " he said.

Musical Director Sue Laney has compiled a 21-piece orchestra for the show, the largest orchestra ever in the history of Pickerington Community Theatre.

"This will let us present this big, sweeping musical score the way it was meant to be heard," Gallaugher said.

"It will make for an exciting show. The score is big. This is not a lightweight musical. It needs a big orchestra to really hear it the way it's meant to be heard."

Gallaugher said South Pacific had a revival on Broadway in 2008 that played to sold out audiences for two years in a row, making it the most successful Rogers & Hammerstein revival ever.

"It's exciting to present such a popular musical not seen in this area for quite a while," he said.

Other well-known songs from the production include "Some Enchanted Evening" and "Bali Ha'i."

"It's the type of musical that sticks with you after you leave the theater," Gallaugher said.

Showtimes for South Pacific are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 8, 9, 15 and 16, with matinees at 2 p.m. Sundays, July 10 and 17.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 55 and older or children 12 and younger.

Group discounts are available to groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased at pctshows.com or by calling 614-508-0036. Tickets also can be purchased at the doors, which open 30 minutes before show time. All seating is reserved.

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