Every actor has a dream role, said Jessica Lauren Ball. Hers is Nellie Forbush, the affable nurse whose love for a wonderful guy is almost undone by her prejudices, in the musical “South Pacific.”
“It’s been at the top of my list,” Ball said. “I love Rodgers and Hammerstein in general, and this is a wonderful show.”
Rodgers wrote the music, and Hammerstein, the lyrics. Hammerstein co-wrote the book, with Joshua Logan.
Even when she was in high school, Ball’s friends kept telling her she’d make “an amazing Nellie Forbush.” Ball agreed she is energetic and a “cockeyed optimist,” as the character Forbush describes herself.
So, “excited” is an understatement of how she felt, said Ball, when director Alan Muraoka cast her in the role for Olney Theatre Center’s production of the 1949 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, which opens the theater’s 2018-2019 season.