South Pacific, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s 5th musical, premiered on Broadway on this day in 1949. Starring Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin, it became an immediate hit. Based on the James A. Michener’s book, Tales of the South Pacific, the show ran for 1,925 performances, becoming the second-longest running Broadway musical up to that point. Besides thinking that they could create a financially successful stage show, they also favored presenting a strong message on racism. Some popular songs featured in the show include "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair", "Some Enchanted Evening", "There Is Nothing Like a Dame” and "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy.” It was turned into a film in 1958 and had a Broadway revival in 2008 where it won seven Tonys including Best Musical Revival.
Debut of Twin Peaks
One of TV’s strangest TV shows aired on this day in 1990 on ABC. Initially, many critics predicted that Twin Peaks, a show created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, wouldn’t catch on. The show centered around the murder investigation of Laura Palmer. However, the show was more about the people who lived in Twin Peaks, a fictional town set in Washington state. The shortened first season grew a huge following before its hiatus. Ratings were still high when the show returned for the second season. However, after the killer was revealed halfway through the second season, audience members turned away. Every episode was a unique mixture of comedy, drama and fantasy which appealed to fans at first, but as the show went on, the storylines got weirder and was canceled. Still, the show had a cult following and a “demand” for more birthed a movie, Fire Walk with Me. The movie was a big disappointment to many of the remaining fans. Showtime aired a revival of Twin Peaks in 2017 that featured many of the original characters (albeit in much smaller roles) but also a few more storylines and locations outside of the Northwest.