By Suzy Kridner
DELAND - "South Pacific," the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that plays from Sept. 21 to Oct. 7 at the Athens Theatre, is a family affair for a Daytona Beach couple.
The Sands Theater Co.'s production features orthodontist Dr. David Lowe as Emile de Becque, his children, Max and Marley, as his on-stage children, Jerome and Ngana, and his wife, Dr. Jean Chang-Lowe, as an ensign nurse.
Dr. Lowe performed the role in October 2010 at the Osceola Center for the Arts, where he won best actor in a musical.This is the first time on stage for twins Marley and Max, 9, who have been taking voice lessons to prepare.Their mother, Dr. Chang-Lowe, also a dentist, said she performed years ago at the Daytona Playhouse, but this is her first musical.
"The kids aren't nervous. They enjoy being on stage. They're naturals," said their proud mother.
Their father is a member of the professional singing troupe Cabaret Royale, who perform in Italian restaurants throughout Central Florida singing Italian, opera and Broadway. The show appears monthly at Luna Bella Ristorante in New Smyrna Beach's Venetian Bay. Both Max and Marley make guest appearances, said their mother.
"South Pacific" centers on a group of American sailors and Navy nurses stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Arkansas native Nellie Forbush (played by Bernadette Siudock) befriends and quickly falls for Emile de Becque, a French expatriate and plantation owner, and Lt. Joe Cable (David Jenkins) finds himself in a passionate affair with Liat, the young daughter of Bloody Mary, the local grass-skirt peddler.
The musical features some of the most beloved Broadway songs of all time including "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "Bali Ha'i," "Happy Talk" and "There's Nothing Like a Dame."
The 1949 Broadway musical was based on the 1948 Pulitzer Prize-winning James A. Michener novel, "Tales of the South Pacific," and is the winner of seven Tony Awards.
"South Pacific" is the first musical of the Sands Theater Co.'s 2012-2013 Season and is directed by Clark Adams, Sands' artistic director. Musical direction is provided by Julia Hood. Ten performances are planned at the historic Athens Theatre in downtown DeLand.
Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees start at 2:30 p.m. Admission for each performance is $25 for Preferred Seating (rows A-E), $20 Adult General Admission, $18 Seniors, $10 Students, and $16 for groups of 8 or more.
For the Sept. 27 performance only, get 2 for 1 pricing on VIP, General Admission and Senior Tickets. Purchase online and use promo code: BOGO
The Athens Theatre is at 124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand. Parking is Free. All tickets are available online at www.AthensDeland.com, the Elusive Grape, 133 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand or by calling the box office, (386) 736-1500. Box Office hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and one hour before Live Performances.