Songs from South Pacific: Featuring Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly
The 2018 Pioneer Day concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square focused on a Broadway theme, with narration provided by Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III, the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II. Delivering the songs were two of Broadway’s hottest stars, Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly. In addition to songs from The King and I, The Sound of Music, Carousel, and Oklahoma, the concert also included music from South Pacific.
South Pacific premiered on Broadway in 1949 and was an instant hit. The music was written by Broadway power duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Following its New York opening critics raved:
“A magnificent musical drama.” —New York Times
“An utterly captivating work of theatrical art.” —New York Post
“A show of rare enchantment.” —New York Herald Tribune
The story was adapted from a 1947 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by James A. Michener titled Tales of the South Pacific, which was a collection of stories about the Pacific campaign in World War II. Michener’s stories were based on experiences and observations he had recorded while stationed as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy on the island now known as Vanuatu. The stories focus on the interactions between Americans and the native islanders and deal heavily with the issue of racism.
Guest artist Matthew Morrison, who portrayed the role of Lt. Joseph Cable in Broadway’s 2008 sole revival of South Pacific, said, “The music of South Pacific—the show was written in 1949 and still has so much to say to us today,” before singing “ You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught/Some Enchanted Evening.” Morrison then performed a jazzy version of “Younger Than Springtime.”
You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught/Some Enchanted Evening
Younger Than Springtime
Following Morrison, Kelly returned to the stage and asked the audience: “Do you mind if I take my shoes off? This next song requires it.” She then performed a captivating rendition of “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” which included dancing and delivering a flower to an unsuspecting tenor mid-performance.
I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy
Watch the full 2018 Pioneer Day concert featuring the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.