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TFA & Music Theatre of Wichita Celebrate South Pacific with Documentary & Soiree


In celebration of the 43rd season of Music Theatre of Wichita and its opening production of South Pacific, TFA & MTWichita present a free public screening of the film Passion, Prejudice and South Pacific: Creating an American Masterpiece sponsored by Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.  The event will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita at 7pm on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 with an introduction from the film’s director Steven Smith and a special appearance from World War II Veteran Freddy Simon.

Following the screening, TFA & MTWichita will host a “Bubbly & Sweets” soiree at Candela at The Lux (120 E 1st Street N) from 9:00 – 10:30 pm, offering attendees the opportunity to meet the filmmaker and to hear songs from the musical, performed by special guests from Music Theatre of Wichita. The soiree includes bubbles from R&J Discount Liquors and a delectable dessert tasting with sweets provided by: The Farris Wheel, Birds on the Roof, Sugar Sisters Bakery, R Coffeehouse, Cow and Sow Deli, Newport Grill and Monica's Bundt Cake Co..

Tickets for the after party are $25 and available online or by calling the Music Theatre of Wichita office at 316.265.3253. (Quantities are limited. Ticket includes reserved theater seating.)

This will be the first theatrical screening of the documentary, which is featured on the 20th Century Fox 50th Anniversary South Pacific Blu-Ray. (Filmmaker Steven Smith, pictured at right, is the brother of Music Theatre of Wichita Producing Artistic Director Wayne Bryan.) The film features interviews with WWII veterans, nurses, and Seabees; Mitzi Gaynor, star of the 1958 film; the children of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein; and cast members from the 2008 Broadway revival including Glee’s Matthew Morrison and Music Theatre of Wichita alum Kelli O’Hara.

Freddy Simon (pictured at right,) co-founder and namesake of the Wichita-based business Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, is a US Army veteran who served in the South Pacific during the Second World War. TFA’s Executive Director Lela Meadow-Conner said, “Freddy’s support allows this screening to be free and open to the public. Tallgrass is always pleased to present events that create conversations around film in our community. Screening Passion, Prejudice and South Pacific is a wonderful opportunity to honor veterans, and communicate through art the important lessons of the World War II era to future generations.”

Wayne Bryan of Music Theatre of Wichita said “this truly remarkable documentary will appeal both to people who know South Pacific by heart, and those who will experience this compelling musical play for the first time this summer. Steven uncovered amazing Technicolor war footage which had never been seen by the American public. In his perceptive interviews, new insights are revealed concerning the importance of South Pacific (the book, the play, and the movie) as it influenced America's perceptions on race and prejudice.”  A live production of South Pacific will open the 43rd season of Music Theatre of Wichita, with performances on June 11-15, 2014.

Advance tickets for the screening are available at the Music Theatre of Wichita office (225 W Douglas, Suite 202) or you can reserve seats online by clicking here. (Seating is general admission.) Soiree sponsors include Candela at The Lux, Larkspur Bistro & Bar, R&J Discount Liquor.

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