The song, “Some Enchanted Evening”, is from the musical comedy, “South Pacific”. The interesting thing about South Pacific is that it is home to two contrasting love stories. South Pacific is a old classic that existed during the Golden Age of musicals that was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
There is the main one, which is between Nellie and Emelie and the other is between Liat and Joe Cable. This show takes place during World War II in the Pacific Islands. One of the biggest themes in this musical is racism, which is shown through both of the love stories. Both love stories have seriousness, but the difference is one is tragic while the other is not.
The difference is that the love story between Liat and Joe Cable is tragic, but the one between Nellie and Emelie is not. At first Nellie left Emelie because of his mixed-race children, but later realized her mistake and looked after the kids while Emelie was in the middle of a dangerous mission. At the end of the story, Emelie was rescued from the dangerous mission and reunited with Nellie. The subplot between Joe Cable and Liat is tragic. When Cable was asked to marry Liat, he refused the offer and decided to go on the dangerous mission with Emelie. During the mission, Cable got killed, which is what makes the love story tragic. Even though yes there is a tragic love story in the musical, it does not make the musical tragic at all. That is due to the fact that the main relationship is between Emelie and Nellie.
Of all the songs, “Some Enchanted Evening” is my favorite because it is such a beautiful romantic song. I also have fallen in love with “There is Nothing like a Dame”, “Honey Bun”, “This Nearly was Mine” and others. To me the songs matter a lot in a musical. The only way I fall in love with a musical has to do with the songs. In my opinion, South Pacific is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s second best musical. The next time I add a musical to my music collection, I am thinking of adding South Pacific, which will be my second Rodgers and Hammerstein musical on my musical playlist.
There is nothing wrong with having tragic elements in a comic musical even if it involves death. Because happy musicals have tragedy in them, they don’t make sense alone. It is in fact the tragic musicals themselves that help support the tragic elements in the happy musical. Also due to the fact that there are not many tragic musicals, happy musicals offer a place for tragedy to grow and develop.