Going to see the musical South Pacific at The Music Center in Los Angeles, with lunch at Pinot Grill.
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 wear 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 are very generous and treating us to the show, as well as to brunch beforehand. We meet at Pinot Grill, which is basically our only option for a Sunday matinee.
It’s in the middle of The Center. This entire seating area gets packed, all at once, with theater goers about 5 minutes after I snap the photo.
FYI – because it’s outdoors, they don’t have tap water available. You MUST order water in a bottle.
Heidi gets a special “South Pacific” cocktail, the color of the ocean!
I order a Portobello sandwich, subbing the potato wedges for some sauteed kale I see on the menu.
Aside from the mushroom, it also has grilled zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, and basil thyme aioli on a brioche bun.
Abe orders an egg/cheese sandwich that comes with meat…
… so I pile some of the ham onto my veggies for protein, and add a smear of Grey Poupon mustard.
Although the food is pretty good, there are some problems with Pinot Grill. It takes a while, some of the food comes out cold, they aren’t able to cook a poached egg longer than runny for some reason, and Abe’s dish comes with meat on it (when he orders it on the side, specifically).
Heidi times it out perfectly – we get there about 11:30 am and are finished just in time for when the show starts at 1pm.
Seeing “South Pacific” as an audience member is surprisingly emotional for me. I get so nostalgic as I hear all those familiar songs and lines that I remember hearing over the speakers backstage as a kid. And as an adult, I can finally understand the themes of racism, war. And of course, all the sexual innuendos that go over my head at the age of 10.
The cast is terrific – I think Carmen Cusack does an especially wonderful job as “Nellie.”
We’ve seen more musicals in the last week (In the Heights last Saturday) than we have in years. Thanks, Robert and Heidi for Some Enchanted…Afternoon!