DHS fall musical 'South Pacific' raises curtain tonight

DHS senior Owen Moore, portraying Emile De Becque, and senior Kassidy Forshey, portraying Nellie Forbush, sing during a dress rehearsal of the fall musical "South Pacific."

DHS senior Owen Moore, portraying Emile De Becque, and senior Kassidy Forshey, portraying Nellie Forbush, sing during a dress rehearsal of the fall musical "South Pacific." by Laura Herring

The weather outside may have turned cooler but things are tropical inside De Soto High School as the fall musical "South Pacific" is readied for opening night. The show, with its cast of nearly 70 students, opens tonight for the Silver Cat performance at 6:30 p.m.

"We're very excited for this show," said director Erin Purifoy. "It's a very fun show while sharing a very serious message at the same time."

For those unfamiliar with the Rogers and Hammerstein classic, at the heart of "South Pacific" is two love stories, those of French planter Emile De Becque and Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and of Marine Lt. Joseph Cable and island girl Liat, all while World War II surrounds them.

"One of the reasons 'South Pacific' is such a great show is because it touches on history, it really provides them with some perspective," said music director Mary Etta Copeland, who has directed "South Pacific" three times at De Soto High School.

From singing the show's signature songs to struggling with foreign accents, the cast of "South Pacific" has enjoyed preparing the show with an enthusiasm that shines through in their performances.

"The musicals are always a lot of work but we love what we do and we have a great time doing it," said veteran performer and senior Stephanie Chappell, who plays 'Bloody Mary.' "How can you not enjoy yourself when you're playing on a 'beach?'"

For senior Owen Moore, struggling with a French accent at French planter Emile De Becque has been worth it because the show carries such a good message for him.

"I think 'South Pacific' is a lot deeper than a lot of musicals and that really makes it stand out," he said. "It's a love story from the beginning, it shows that good can come from a bad situation."

Regular performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 10-12, at the DHS theater. Tickets may be purchased at the DHS office, at the door or from a cast member.

More photos from the show may be viewed in this photogallery.

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