Arizona Broadway Theatre will pay tribute to veterans

Arizona Broadway Theatre is paying tribute to American veterans with the Broadway classic South Pacific on Nov. 24.

During the show’s run through Dec. 30, the theatre’s lobby will showcase a number of veteran profiles of military personnel selected from the theatre’s patron base.

According to a press release, the 1949 landmark musical honors and pays tribute to America’s veterans, set during World War II, describes how the South Pacific is the tale of two love stories and the prejudice they encounter.

Navy nurse and small-town Arkansas girl, Nellie Forbush falls for the “dashing” local French planter, Emile De Becque, not realizing that he has two children with an island native. Meanwhile, visiting Marine Lieutenant Joe Cable is introduced to “Bali Ha’i” and the Tonkinese girl who steals his heart and makes him question all he was taught back home in Princeton.

While South Pacific is a show full of timeless classics Broadway tunes like “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There Ain’t Nothing like a Dame” and “Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” the show is likened to a time capsule of remembrance for a time in history defined by a generation of men and women who fought to defend the freedoms of a nation and the world, the release said.

In November and December, ABT will pay tribute to veterans hosting four Veteran’s Coffee Hours from 8 to 10 a.m. on Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 and Dec 4 and Dec. 18 in the ABT lobby. Veterans and their families are invited to enjoy a relaxed social time with complimentary coffee and donuts provided.

Free walking tours of the Theatre will run on the hour and include a short informal talk-back about South Pacific — to include information about the show’s initial creation in 1947-48 as well as ABT’s artistic vision and design process for the show, which is on stage through Dec. 30.

“South Pacific is a show that nearly everyone has heard of, and many may have seen at some point throughout their lives,” said Brad York, ABT’s director of marketing in a prepared statement.

“But at its core, the show is about the bravery of so many who fought in the South Pacific during WWII. We want to take the opportunity to acknowledge and pay tribute to not only that generation of veterans but all who continue to defend our freedoms – at home and abroad.”

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