The Gritty Remake Of South Pacific You Didn't Ask For Is Coming Anyway
Though it is set during World War II and deals with issues of classism and racism, South Pacific is also a musical featuring songs called "Happy Talk" and "A Cockeyed Optimist," and is intended to make you feel good at the end. So who is supposed to benefit from a "tougher, more realistic" telling of the story? No, really, I'm asking, because someone seems to think it's a good idea.
According to Variety, Ileen Maisel and Bob Balaban are planning another adaptation of the stage musical, this one apparently leaning more heavily on the original James Michener novel Tales of the South Pacific. Don't call it a fresh take on the material, though, because they're still using the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, meaning that no matter how "tough" and "realistic" the new Nurse Nellie is, she still has to sing "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" at some point.
South Pacific is currently running as a hugely successful Broadway production in New York, so again, I have no idea why Balaban and Maisel think a gritty reboot is in order. Plus, the only musicals to actually succeed recently-- Hairspray, Mamma Mia!-- are very much of the bouncy and positive kind. You may not be looking for the musicals equivalent of The Dark Knight, but by god they're trying to give it to you anyway.
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