South Pacific may seem like a lighthearted love story at first, but more serious issues of war and racial prejudice threaten the main characters TM happy ending.
Tech senior Tanya Johnson plays nave American nurse "Nellie Forbush" who falls in love with the older and mysterious Frenchman "Emile de Becque" played by Mark Oliver.
"He left France in a hurry after he had an incident where he had to get out of town, says Oliver. So he built up a nice plantation and is very successful, though he lacks a loving significant other."
"She TMs finding a way to come to terms with her personal biases and confront what it's like to be exposed to the real world, says Johnson. It's a big emotional development that she has during the show and it's a really exciting role to play."
Thought to be one of Rodgers and Hammerstein TMs best works, South Pacific is as much about its catchy songs as its complex story.
The epic musical was the perfect choice for an epic local production - complete with the accompaniment of the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.
"We like to do what the community likes to see, says director Trish Helsel. We've been asked numerous times to do a big musical. It's a different style than most students are used to, so we thought it was a good undertaking."
The show opens Thursday night, but if you can't make that there are two other performances: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Rozsa Center box office.