In less than two weeks, the MVTHS cast, crew and orchestra will present "South Pacific," its 73rd Operetta production. For more than 70 years, MVTHS has wowed its community with operettas featuring its high school talent. According to information received from the high school, since 1942, MVTHS has only missed three years (1944 - 1946 for war and recovery efforts and 1990 when the production was moved from fall to spring).
This years Operetta, "South Pacific," is a Rodgers and Hammerstein show set in an island paradise during World War II. It follows two parallel love stories that are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war.
"Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile's proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he's fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe's life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudice," state a website Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Popular songs from the musical include "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair" and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy."
Director Rolland Mays states in an interview that his own mother played in the orchestra in the 1940's. "This tradition is history, its tradition; it's a vital part of what Mount Vernon Township High School is.