Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm Feeling Blue: Broadway Without "South Pacific"; PBS Without Bill Moyers ...

The record-breaking run of South Pacific at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre (the longest run ever for a Rodgers & Hammerstein revival) comes to an end on August 25, and I feel a deep sadness. A die-hard R&H fan, I've seen the show twice, and will likely a third time if I'm back there this summer. It is simply a bright and brilliant, radiantly professional revival, so true to the original script. A glorious evening. I suppose I fancied it staying around forever.

Bill Moyers: What a treasure to be losing. Only after returning to PBS three years ago, again he is exiting. I can't think of a better news and serious opinion-sharing show on TV. Recently, addressing the health care debate, Moyers had on two guests, both in favor of a health care bill, but one very much not of the current legislation. I listened to each, one arguing why he would vote yes, the other why she would vote no. A most exquisitely rich presentation of two diametric points of view. Not like the News Hour, where often each side seems to merely cancel out the other. Here I left with two formidable voices.

Moyers, though tagged as a hopeless liberal, has had on very un-liberal voices making persuasive cases for their sides. Moyers patiently listened, and we benefited. Even next to the sometimes slick Charlie Rose, I think he towers.

Good bye South Pacific. Good bye, Bill Moyers. You both stand as hallmarks of achievement in your respective spheres.

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