Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Some of the female actors in the Benson Gristmill production of “South Pacific” include (top, from left) Jaycee Harris, Kendyl Penney, Jorden Cammack, Kaylin Sargent, Jama Knuteson and Mindy Oviatt. In front are Airdrie Gillie (left) and Madi Firth.

August 10, 2017
‘South Pacific’ opens Friday on Benson Gristmill stage

The production of “South Pacific” at the Benson Gristmill will honor members of the U.S. military and the late and longtime Tooele resident Maxine Grimm.

“The show reminds us of the sacrifices our military made to protect our freedom,” said co-director Christie Steadman.

The Benson Gristmill Performing Arts Foundation’s production opens Friday and will run Saturday and Monday nights. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.

“South Pacific” follows the lives of U.S. military men, nurses and residents of a Polynesian island during World War II, based on James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific” and featuring a score by Rodgers and Hammerstein, according to playbill.com

“As the past producer and a director of the Benson Gristmill Performing Arts Foundation, I would always be thinking of shows that would lend themselves to the outdoor theater — “South Pacific” fits those qualifications,” Steadman said.

The show honors Grimm, who passed away in February at the age of 102.

“It’s the story of Maxine’s life,” Steadman said. “Maxine was a Red Cross nurse during World War II and met and married Col. Peter Grimm while she was serving in the South Pacific.”

Some of the leading characters in the play include Jorden Cammack as Ensign Nellie Forbush, Aaron Nelson as Emile de Becque, Ryan Saunders as Lt. Joseph Cable, Emma Walker as Liat, and Amy Metler as Bloody Mary. The cast includes about 30 people.

Cammack, who is Grantsville High School’s theater teacher, also serves as a co-director for the play.

“I really like the cast. They’re a talented group and we’ve been having a lot of fun. It’s hard work,” Cammack said. “It’s been great to work with some of my former students from Clarke Johnson Junior High and my students from Grantsville High. And of course, I also really love this show — it’s a classic.”

Popular songs from the musical include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Bloody Mary,” “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame,” “Bali Ha’i” and “Younger than Springtime.”

The show’s producer is Leslie Taylor with choreographers Becca Hall and Airdrie Gillie. Music director is Rebecca Jorgensen, prop manager Diana Troop, light board operator is Justin Hall and sound board operator is MacKenzie Labadie.

Members of the military will be honored prior to the show with presentations on Saturday and Monday nights at 8 p.m.

Several food trucks will be available during the performances.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children. Discounts are also available for families.

Tickets can be purchased at www.bensongristmillPAF.com or by calling Benson Gristmill at 435-882-7678.

Benson Gristmill is located at 325 state Route 138 in Stansbury Park.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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