Victor Malana Maog to Helm Drury Lane Theatre’s SOUTH PACIFIC Starring Robert Cuccioli and Samantha Hill

Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang
Victor Maog. Photo by Lia Chang

The first production of the 2018/19 Drury Lane Theatre season is the Tony Award-winning musical South Pacific, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Josh Logan, and adapted from Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener. Helmed by Victor Malana Maog, South Pacific features choreography by Otis Sallid and musical direction by Roberta Duchak. South Pacific runs April 5 – June 17, 2018, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. The press opening is scheduled for Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m.

Robert Cuccioli and Samantha Hill lead the cast of South Pacific as Emile de Becque and Ensign Nellie Forbush. Cuccioli is a Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Joseph Jefferson Award-winner for his performance as Jekyll & Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde. Hill originated the role of Cosette in the 2013 Tony-nominated Broadway revival of Les Misérables. The cast of South Pacific also includes Austin Colby (Lt. Joseph Cable), Yvonne Strumecki (Bloody Mary), Matt Crowle (Luther Billis), Elic Bramlett (Capt. George Brackett), Harter Clingman (Stewpot), Matthew Keffer (Cmdr. William Harbison), Sarah Lo (Liat), Sam Shankman (Professor), Hunter DiMailig (Jerome), Rika Nishikawa (Ngana), Miles S. Chong (Jerome alternate) and Rachel Cornille (Ngana alternate). The Ensemble includes Blair Beasley, Kayla Boye, Nathaniel Braga, Joe Capstick, Matt Casey, Erica Evans, John Gurdian, Ashley Lanyon, Rachel Osting, Brandon Pisano, Allie Pizzo, Peter Sipla, Erica Stephan, Patrick Michael Tierney and Denzel Tsopnang.

“It’s not every day that a theater is brave enough to go into the complexity of race, patriotism, and loss,” notes director Victor Malana Maog. “Our creative team knows both the sweeping enchantment and the realities of this story on many levels. Choreographer Otis Sallid has broken numerous barriers in entertainment, and I wanted his inventiveness, passion, and bravery to infuse the conversations around this groundbreaking musical. We understand the responsibility to the many voices, heard and unheard, in this musical. In our storytelling, we’ll highlight both the romance and some bitter truths.”

Timelier than ever, this Rodgers & Hammerstein landmark musical proves that even the backdrop of a tropical paradise cannot shelter its residents from the prejudices of World War II. South Pacific is the winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and ten Tony Awards including Best Musical.

The creative team also includes: Scott Davis (Scenic Designer), Olivera Gajic(Costume Designer), Yael Lubetzky (Lighting Designer), Brian Elston (Assistant Lighting Designer), Ray Nardelli (Sound Designer), Cassy Schillo (Properties Designer), Claire Moores (Wig Designer), Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach), and Colin Funk (Assistant Dialect Coach). The Production Stage Manager is Larry Baker.

South Pacific is recommended for ages 10 and up. Parental guidance is suggested.

VICTOR MALANA MAOG (Director) was named one of American Theatre Magazine’s “20 Theatre Workers You Should Know” (October 2015). He has directed and developed new works at The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, Signature Theatre, Mabou Mines, The Lark, New Dramatists, 2g, ABC/Disney, and large-scale stage shows, live events, and spectaculars at Disney Parks Live Entertainment. Maog first gained notice in 2004 when he was one of six directors in the nation to participate in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program. Recent directing credits include Total Power Exchange by Edith Freni (Theatre Emory’s Global Voices Series), Her Portmanteau by Mfoniso Udofia (National Black Theatre, New York), 48 HOUR FORUM (Noor Theatre, New York), Happy by Sung Rno (New Dramatists, New York), Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (Page 73 Summer Residency at Yale), 2015 ABC Talent Showcase (New York), Step Aside (York Theater, New York), and Twelfth Night (Connecticut Repertory Theatre).

Otis Sallid’s credits extend to every genre of the entertainment business either as a choreographer, director, producer, and writer. He has worked extensively in film, theater, and television in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States and is credited as the co-conceiver of the longest running musical revue in Broadway history, Smokey Joe’s Café. He has worked with director Spike Lee as a choreographer on the films School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Malcolm X; served as choreographer for the Super Bowl XL performance by Stevie Wonder, John Legend, India Arie, and Joss Stone as well as the Patty LaBelle Tour; and conceived, directed, and choreographed both the national and international tours of Get On The Good Foot – The James Brown Project.

Subscriptions for the 2018/2019 Season are priced from $157 to $187 and are currently on sale. Subscribers receive special offers on dining, flexible ticket exchanges, and early notification and priority seating for added events and concerts. For more information, visit DruryLaneTheatre.com.

The performance schedule for all productions is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available. For individual ticket on-sale dates and ticket reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111 or TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or visit DruryLaneTheatre.com.

Under the leadership of President Kyle DeSantis and Artistic Director William Osetek, Drury Lane Theatre is a major force in the Chicagoland theatre scene, presenting world-class productions in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading actors, artists, writers, and directors. Over the past 30 years, Drury Lane has staged more than 2,000 productions and has been nominated for more than 360 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Drury Lane is committed to breathing new life into beloved classics and introducing audiences to exciting new works.

Throughout its 30-year history, Drury Lane has employed more than 7,500 actors and 10,000 musicians, designers, and crew members to entertain upwards of nine million audience members. Originally founded by Anthony DeSantis, Drury Lane Theatre remains a family-run organization known for producing breathtaking Broadway classics, top-rated musicals, bold new works, hilarious comedies, and unforgettable concert events.

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