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Five Questions with South Pacific’s Mitzi Gaynor on Kauai

Mitzi_Gaynor_South_Pacific_Princeville_KauaiHAWAII: Great Kauai memories?

GAYNOR: This place changed my life. It changed Jack and my lives. The attitude, the warmth and the honesty. There was so much giving here. 

Aloha is a such a comfort, such a spiritual thing.

People would know what time we’d go to work in the morning. We’d come up from the highway to here from the Coco Palms and people would be waving out the windows and sometimes hand us cut pineapple as we went by.  It was fabulous, just fabulous. Kids would bring us boiled peanuts after work. Those kind of things change your life.

HAWAII: South Pacific meant a great deal to Kauai—to a lot of people. The musical’s still alive. Did you see the Lincoln Center revival?

GAYNOR: Yes, it was marvelous, lots of memories. I love the cast. Kelli O‘Hara (who played Gaynor’s former part, Nellie Forbush) was wonderful. You know Loretta (Ables Sayre)? She’s from Hawaii.

HAWAII: Yes, for years.

GAYNOR: Angel! She was supposed to be here this weekend. But I guess she couldn’t because she’s still in the show. Loretta sings “Bali Hai” better than anyone I’ve ever known. I told her that.  When she’s on that stage, you don’t look at anybody else. If you’re in touch with her, tell how disappointed I am she’s not here. I’m her biggest fan.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Bali Hai calls again! Mitzi Gaynor Kauai bound for South Pacific celebration
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