In 1987 I made my professional acting debut at Lincoln Center, in the City Opera’s production of “South Pacific.”
Those two months were when I really got “bitten by the bug” (for those of you familiar with the show, I played “Ngana,” the Frenchman’s daughter who sings “Dites-moi”).
23 years later, I’m still acting, and today I got to see the show live, for the very first time.
I even wore my Polynesian shirt for the occasion!
Just like Lincoln Center in NYC, The Music Center in L.A. is a collection of grand theaters surrounding a fountain.
Our Uncle Robert and Aunt Heidi were very generous and treated us to the show, as well as to brunch beforehand. We met at Pinot Grill, which was basically our only option for a Sunday matinee.
It’s in the middle of The Center. This entire seating area got packed, all at once, with theater goers about 5 minutes after I snapped the photo.
FYI – because it’s outdoors, they don’t have tap water available. You MUST order bottled.
Heidi got a special “South Pacific” cocktail, the color of the ocean!
I ordered a Portobello sandwich, subbing the potato wedges for some sauteed kale I saw on the menu.
Aside from the mushroom, it also had grilled zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, and basil thyme aioli – served on a brioche bun:
Abe ordered an egg/cheese sandwich that came with meat…
… so I piled some of the ham onto my veggies for protein, and added a smear of Grey Poupon
A bite of Abe’s fruit too
Although the food was pretty good, there were some problems with the restaurant – it took a while, some of the food came out cold, they weren’t able to cook a poached egg longer than runny for some reason, and Abe’s dish came with meat on it (when he ordered it on the side, specifically).
Heidi timed it out perfectly – we got there about 11:30 am and were finished just in time for when the show started at 1pm.
Seeing “South Pacific” as an audience member was surprisingly emotional for me – I got so nostalgic as I heard all those familiar songs and lines that I remembered hearing over the speakers backstage as a kid. And as an adult, I could finally understand the themes of racism, war, and of course all the sexual innuendos that went over my head at the age of 10.
The cast was terrific – I thought Carmen Cusack did an especially wonderful job as “Nellie.”