Loretta Ables Sayre
Tony-nominated actress Loretta Ables Sayre will take her final bow as Bloody Mary in the hit Broadway production of South PacificAug. 22 at New York City’s Lincoln Center Theater. And for those who won’t be able to catch the show live, PBS Hawaii will broadcast the production Aug. 18 and 21 at 8 p.m.
Sayre has been performing eight shows a week for the past two-and-a-half years, making South Pacific the longest-running Rodgers & Hammerstein musical revival in history.
“We will have done more than 1,000 performances,” says Sayre, 52. “This has been the most extraordinary professional opportunity and experience in my life. It’s been both exhilarating and exhausting. The biggest thrill is to work on stage alongside multi-Tony-nominated and Tony-winning actors and actresses. It’s like taking a master class every day.
“We were originally supposed to run for three months. The day before we opened, that run was completely sold out and they announced it would be an open-ended run. The response has been fantastic!”
Sayre appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in April 2008, the week South Pacific opened on Broadway. Since then she’s been embracing every moment of her time in New York, living out her dreams. “From as far back as I can remember all I ever wanted to do was to act and sing,” says the Radford High graduate who married the love of her life, public relations executive David Sayre, in June 2000. “It’s still amazing to me now that I’m doing this for a living - on Broadway, no less! It’s also the first time in my life that I’ve experienced all four seasons. I’ve never been colder and I’ve never been hotter, but it’s also been thrilling. There’s no place like New York - the arts, the culture, the food and the noise!”
Having never had any formal voice training, Sayre turned to local voice teacher Alethea Train in preparation for her South Pacific audition. She says all other forms of “musical training” came from a combination of her experience singing professionally for the last 30 years in showrooms and nightclubs around town, and theater productions such as You Somebody at Diamond Head Theatre. “As far back as I can remember, music and singing has been a catharsis for me. More than a physical expression, it’s always been a way for my soul to speak,” Sayre says. “Singing is not only what I want to do, it’s what I need to do. It’s where I feel my most grounded, honest and spiritual.”
South Pacific has opened many doors for this homegrown talent, and there is a possibility she may one day find herself back on Broadway. Although she can’t predict the future, no matter where the music takes her, Hawaii will always be home. “It’s been an honor to be a part of the Broadway community, to live in NYC and to work at Lincoln Center, but what thrills me even more is the idea of coming home to Hawaii for some R&R, seeing my friends and family, feeling the trade winds, listening to Hawaiian music and knowing that I’ll be home where my heart belongs.”
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