COURTESY JOAN MARCUS
Loretta Ables Sayre is carried to stardom as Bloody Mary in the Broadway revival of "South Pacific." She scored a Tony nomination yesterday.
Loretta Ables Sayre’s role as Bloody Mary earns a Tony nod
Loretta Ables Sayre took a bottle of champagne to the theater last night, celebrating her Tony Award nomination and the 10 others received by her Broadway show, "South Pacific."
Ables Sayre, a veteran singer and actress from Hawaii, is a finalist in the category of Featured Actress/Musical for her first New York role, as Bloody Mary in the Rodgers & Hammerstein revival.
The nomination "is much bigger than anything I could have ever dreamed of," she said in a phone call a few hours after getting the news.
"I am at the same time hugely honored and, it sounds so clich, but I really am so humbled. I cannot believe it. ... To be able to have a job in New York on Broadway is enough. It's so fantastic."
"South Pacific" also scored nominations for Kelli O'Hara (Nellie Forbush) and Paulo Szot (Emile De Becque) in lead roles, Danny Burstein (Luther Billis) as featured actor and for director Bartlett Sher. The show is also nominated for musical revival, choreography, and for scenic, costume, lighting and sound design.
"To be nominated is one thing," Ables Sayre said. "To have your show receive so many nominations -- we're in absolute euphoria."
She shares her category with Laura Benanti ("Gypsy"), de'Adre Aziza ("Passing Strange"), Andrea Martin ("Young Frankenstein") and Olga Merediz ("In the Heights").
"I don't know what my odds are of winning this kind of thing, and I just truly have to say it doesn't even matter," she said.
"I came from Honolulu, from Mililani, and I'm in New York doing a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical for the first time it's been on Broadway in almost 60 years, and to just even be nominated ... is all the honor that it needs. I'm just incredibly blessed, I can't even begin to tell you."
Ables Sayre reports that "South Pacific" is "totally sold out for months ahead of time" and that the cast receives a standing ovation at every performance.
"It's just so marvelous to be a part of a show that is moving and that touches people's hearts and resonates in them in making a statement about prejudice and war. We're still going through all those things now."
"South Pacific" made Broadway history shortly after the end of World War II with its uncompromising condemnation of racism.
"Ultimately, the message of the show is that you can change. Just because you were taught (to be prejudiced) or were raised thinking that way, you still have the power to change things in your life and change your way of thinking. It's just incredible to be a part of this."