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‘South Pacific’ production to hold two veterans’ appreciation nights
South Pacific
Actors prepare for the upcoming show "South Pacific," which will premier on Thursday at Tam's School Street Playhouse. - photo by For the FCN

The next production at Tam’s School Street Playhouse will have not only a military theme but two of its first three nights will be dedicated to local veterans.

Starting on Thursday, July 11 and running Thursdays through Sundays until Aug. 4, MGBaker Productions will host Rogers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” at the playhouse. Shows will be held at 8 p.m. on all days except Sundays when a 3 p.m. matinee will be held.

“The show is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by James Michener called ‘Tales of the South Pacific,’” said producer Marty Baker. “Rogers and Hammerstein turned it into a Tony- and Oscar-award winning musical, and it’s one of America’s favorite musicals of all time.”

The first Friday and Saturday shows will hold veterans’ appreciation nights and veterans will pay half price for tickets. There will be free refreshments and a red carpet event for veterans.

Baker said the decision to do two nights came after getting a lot of support from the veterans’ community.

“We decided that because of the military aspect and setting in World War II that we wanted to do something for the veterans, so we set up a veterans’ appreciation night for Friday, July 12. It has been so popular that it’s almost sold out,” Baker said. “There’s only a handful of tickets left. We just announced we’re going to extend it one more day to Saturday, July 13.

“Veterans will have two chances now to be able to see this really wonderful musical.”

As the name suggests, the play is set in the south Pacific during World War II and features a number of songs that have become popular outside the production.

“There’s a lot of really great music that is in it, some of it being, ‘I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,’ ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘There Is Nothing Like a Dame,’” Baker said. “People love it. It’s two parallel love stories set in a tropical paradise during World War II.”

Baker said both of his parents were Marines in World War II, with his father serving in the south Pacific, and much of the cast came from military families.

“Probably half the cast has relatives who served in World War II or served in the military and have some stories, so it means a lot to a bunch of us,” Baker said.

Tickets can be purchased online at SchoolStreetPlayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 770-781-9178. The playhouse is at 101 School Street in downtown Cumming.