I watched South Pacific last night for the first time in decades. (I don't have the heart to post a youtube clip here -- the film itself is so ravishing.)
M and I watched it together. I don't know if it's the age difference or a more general cultural difference in our backgrounds, but M isn't at all familiar with these golden age musicals that are so deeply embedded in my sensibility. (I was going to write "soul" but decided that was a little over the top. But only a little.) I have to admit I found that fact a little scandalous; it totally pushed my these-kids-coming-up-today-don't-know-anything-about-gay-culture!" button.
Anyway, I think he had fun and found it pretty interesting, even if he didn't thrill to the music as much as I do. (He especially liked Stewpot. How gay is Stewpot?) Besides the fact that this show is the apogee of the artform, it's a fascinating look at American preoccupations of the late 50s: race, class, foreign wars, American disillusionment, fear of Communism, anxiety about the end of a familiar way of life. It pretty jam-packed.
South Pacific was the first big musical production I performed in, at about age 15 I think. It figures heavily in my high school diary, which is why it's been on my mind. It was a production of the Putnam County Playhouse, the summer community theater in the town my family moved to when I was in eighth grade. I was in the chorus, so I was basically a sailor. I danced and sang my heart out and catcalled at the nurses. I was in gay boy heaven.