What an opening! Mason is a Texan from Waco who says a few of her favorite roles have been in “The Sound of Music,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Into the Woods” and “How to Succeed in Business.” The gifted vocalist and stunning actress has performed locally at Lyric Stage and was a featured singer with the Plano Symphony Orchestra. This is her debut with GSM.
Brian Mathis had me at “Some Enchanted.” His voice is too good to be true. The actor/outrageous singer from Fort Worth has appeared at Casa Manana, Dallas Theatre Center, Circle Theater, Lyric Stage and other local theaters. His credits include “Giant,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Showboat,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”… and the list goes on. He’s done commercial voiceover work for clients such as Kodak, Aflac and Bridgestone/Firestone. Undoubtedly, Rossano Brazzi is looking down on Mathis with great approval.
As Bloody Mary, Marjorie Hayes belts out a good “Bali Hai.” Her shenanigans with the Seabees and, in particular, Luther Billis, played by Terry McEnroe, are simply that – shenanigans.
Aaron White does an adequate job translating Lt. Joe Cable, but he is certainly no match to John Kerr, the “saxy Lieutellant” in the film version, with Kerr being an irresistible, cool glass of water. White seems to be holding back on his vocals in the role.
The women’s ensemble gives entertaining performances of “A Wonderful Guy,” “I’m Gonna’ Wash That Man Right Outa’ My Hair” and “Honey Bun.” The best way to describe them has to be “adorable.”
The Seabees follow suit with their brazen “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” The only thing that falls short in that number is on Luther Billis. His coconuts are too small, being upstaged by his humongous tattoos.
This is McEnroe’s premiere performance with GSM, but he has appeared in more than 100 musicals, plays and ballets. He’s performed the leads in Garland Civic Theater’s “Sweeney Todd,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Suzanne Cranford and Michael Robinson, with assistance from Glory Baganier, created lively costumes for the entire show. The inside skinny is that Robinson decoupaged newspapers to fabric, Baganier did the cutting and Cranford did the sewing of the clever newspaper costumes donned by the women’s ensemble in “Honey Bun.”
Steven Beene, who declared he was hanging up his tutu last season, apparently got it down, dusted it off and traded it for a butler’s jacket as he landed back on GSM’s stage. Apparently, he just wanted attention and cake. As Emile de Beque’s houseboy, the “French” he uses to deliver two of his two lines is convincing enough to see that he should have paid more attention in Madame Wolfe’s class at Bryan Adams.
“South Pacific” first opened on Broadway in 1949 and ran until 1955, and the team of Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers became household names. The production garnered 13 Tony Awards in 1950, and the show had two Broadway revivals. The film followed in 1958.
As always, Patty Granville did her thing to create another enjoyable opening of the 30th Garland Summer Musicals season at the Granville Arts Center. Buff Shurr brought his polish and palpable talent to GSM as he has for 30 years.
“South Pacific” continues with performances on Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m.