Posted on 12 April 2011

Paulo Szot is set to take to the stage again for his Tony-winning performance as Emile de Becque in the London transfer of Bartlett Sher's production of South Pacific, which begins performances at London's Barbican Theatre from 15th August for a run through to 1st October, prior to a U.K. national tour. He will be joined by Samantha Womack, previously known as Samantha Janus, as Nellie Forbush.

Paulo Szot is a Brazilian opera baritone singer and actor of Polish descent.  Szot, who made his Broadway debut in South Pacific, had previously appeared in the New York City Opera productions of L'Elisir d'Amore, Carmen and Le Nozze di Figaro. He made his operatic debut as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in his native Sao Paolo before going on to sing lead roles with major opera companies internationally.  He won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in the play, becoming the first Brazilian to receive such honor.

About his performance in South Pacific, Ben Brantley of the New York Times said the following: "When he delivers 'Some Enchanted Evening' or 'This Nearly Was Mine,' it's not as a swoon-making blockbuster (though of course it is), but as a measured and honest consideration of love."  For his performance in South Pacific, Szot has won awards such as the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle, the Theatre World Award, and the Tony Award.

This production of South Pacific, which ran at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater from March 2008-August 2010, won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, and director Bartlett Sher and designer Michael Yeargan also, respectively, won the Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Scenic Design of a Musical.

The press launch for South Pacific takes place on 20th April at the Savoy Hotel where it is expected the main cast will attend with Bartlett Sher.  All eyes will be peeled to see if they are also joined by Matthew Morrison from tv sensation Glee who has been tipped to reprise his Broadway role of Lt. Joe Cable.

Set on a tropical island during World War II, South Pacific tells of the romance of two couples, threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. The show, originally premiered on Broadway in 1949, features a score by Rodgers and Hammerstein that includes such songs as "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "There is Nothin’ Like a Dame."

Book South Pacific tickets online now

[posted by Louise, 12/04/2011]