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South PacificParadise Rewritten$
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Jim Lovensheimer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377026.001.0001

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Who Can Explain It?

Who Can Explain It?

(p.1) 1 Who Can Explain It?
South Pacific

Jim Lovensheimer

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter considers the 2008 Broadway revival of South Pacific (created by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II). The enthusiastic reception of this production suggests the show’s unabated ability to entertain as well as its continued relevance to problematic issues in American culture. Further, this production has reinstated much material cut from the original production before it opened in 1949 and thus provides an example of a musical as an “open text,” or a text that has changing content and meaning due to its not having a definitive version. This in turn invites consideration of earlier forms of the show during its developmental period and in subsequent productions, and it supports the investigation of drafts and sketches for the show that were rejected for various reasons. After stating the purpose of the book, which is to investigate the musical’s thematic concerns and how they were developed or altered, the chapter concludes with a summary of subsequent chapters.

Keywords:   South Pacific, open text, Broadway revival, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II

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