South Sea Islands- New Hebrides, now Vanuatu, is the location of the play. It’s in the Melanesia chain of Islands. New Hebrides during the war saw no combat. They were part of the supply route for the soldiers fighting in the Coral sea in New Guinea and northward in the Solomon Islands where some of the bloodiest battle took place like Guadal Canal. Bali H’ai is Ambae. From the East coast of Santo, the island is a clear blue pyramid rising from the ocean in the early morning light. But as the sun climbs higher, except for rare, clear days, the island quickly disappears behind a glare of sea haze. Ambae's pyramid shape is due to its volcanic origins. East Ambae is wet and the west is a rain-shadow area. The set designer Jo Meitzner, used the island of Bora Bora as inspiration for his sets.
GI- stands for government issue. It was used in World War II for anyone in the Armed Forces, especially those in the Army.
Seabees-( CB)-construction battalions. The earliest Seabees were recruited from the civilian construction trades and were placed under the leadership of the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps. Because of the emphasis on experience and skill rather than on physical standards, the average age of Seabees during the early days of the war was 37. They built the airstrips, roads, and bases that allowed the United States to engage in the island-hopping necessary for fighting the Japanese in World War II.
Scene 1 Act 1
Hibiscus Originating in Asia and the Pacific islands, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. The tropical hibiscus belongs to the Malvaceae or mallow family. Other relatives are the rose-of-sharon (shrubby althea), the hardy hibiscus grown in the north, okra, cotton, the Confederate Rose, hollyhock and quite a few others.
Bourgainvillaea a vine with small flowers and purple or red leaves They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1-12 meters tall, scrambling over other plants with their hooked thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance.
Frangipani The flowers of the Frangipani come in gorgeous rose-pink color brushed with bronze. Frangipani flowers are highly scented during nights and often used in bouquets. Frangipani flowers have wonderful tropical essence. The frangipani flower is propeller shaped with a delicate yellow center melting into the creamy white outer petals.
Dites-moi tell me
La vie est belle life is beautiful
La vie est gaie life is gay
Chere mad’moiselle dear miss
Est ce que is that
Parce que because
Vous m’aimez? You love me
Vite quickly, hurry up
Dans la maison in the house
Moi, je reste ici me, I rest here
Oh, oui? Nous verrons bien oh, yes? We will see
Viens, petit moustique turn, small mosquito
Je servirai le café I serve coffee
C’est tout that’s all
Hick- simple, rural person-(from a nickname of Richard, thought of as a country name.)
The sticks- (from lumberjacks)-a rural place
Knucklehead – stupid person
Cockeyed - crazy, wrong, weird
Selling me a bill – deceiving
Marcel Proust Marcel Proust was born in Auteuil. He published his first works, Portraits de Peintres and Plaisirs et les Jours, in 1896. Proust's unpublished works from this period, Jean Santeuil, (an autobiographical work which was never finished) and Contre Sainte-Beuve, (the latter an attack of the criticism of Sainte-Beuve), were discovered in the 1950s.
To the age of 35 Proust lived the life of a social climber in the Paris salons, although he worked for a short time as a lawyer and was also active in the Dreyfuss affair (of which he wrote extensively in A la Recherché) like Émile Zola and other artists and intellectuals.
In 1912 Proust produced the first volume of his seven part major work, Remembrance of Things Past. The second book, which was delayed by the WW I, appeared in 1919, and the next parts made him internationally famous. The massive work occupied the last decade of his life.
Andre Gide Les Cahiers d'André Walter (1891) [The Notebooks of André Walter] opened the door to the symbolist literary circles of the day. He went to Algeria and almost died from a severe illness. His works after this dealt with the tension between Puritanism, a strict discipline and desire for sexual freedom. Les Nourritures terrestres (1897) [Fruits of the Earth], the drama Saul (1903), and later Le Retour de l'enfant prodigue (1907) [The Return of the Prodigal], are the chief documents of his new approach.
Until the twenties Gide was known chiefly in avant-garde and esoteric literary circles (he was one of the founders of La Nouvelle Revue Française), but in his later years he became a highly influential, although always controversial figure. He travelled widely. His trip to the Congo led to a report on economic abuses by French firms and resulted in reforms. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947.
Eh bien what, pardon me
Nous chantons, bien, aussi let us sing well, also
Scene 2 Act1
Tapa cloth- Bark cloth-Most commonly the bark of the paper mulberry or breadfruit tree is used. The bark is stripped from young saplings, and the white inner layers are peeled off for the tapa. These narrow strips are soaked in water until softened; then they are pounded with grooved mallets, which spreads the bark into increasingly wider strips until they are about ten inches wide. The edges are then overlapped and glued with manioc root juice, breadfruit, or arrowroot starch to make wide sheets.
Betel nuts- the fruit of the Areca catechu palm tree, also known as the Betel Palm, contain the stimulant arecoline. Native to SE Asia, the ground nuts are often combined with mineral lime and wrapped in the leaf of a Betel pepper plant, although they are sometimes chewed alone. Frequent use can stain teeth black and its daily use is associated with increased risk of mouth cancers. Variants of the betel and lime combination are extremely common in many Asian cultures and have a long history of human use.
Joseph Paul DiMaggio (Joltin' Joe and The Yankee Clipper)
born as Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2", Weight: 193 lb.
Born: November 25, 1914 in Martinez, CA
High School: Galileo (San Francisco, CA)
Debut: May 3, 1936
Team: Yankees 1936-1951
Final Game: September 30, 1951
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1955
May 14, 1941: DiMaggio goes hitless in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He won’t have another hitless game for more than two months running, 56 straight games.
Sadsack - ( from 1920s students and World War II armed services) an awkward maladjusted person.
Droopy-drawers- (from 1940s) a dull and stupid person
Scene 3 Act 1
Boar’s tooth -
Knock it off -(from 1850s Navy) to stop doing or saying something
Tokyo Rose-a woman who tried to demoralize American soldiers and sailors during the war by highlighting their hardships and sacrifices through broadcasts on the radio. . “Tokyo Rose” was not an actual person, but the fabricated name given by soldiers to a series of American-speaking women who made propaganda broadcasts under different aliases. As far as its propaganda value, Army analysis suggested that the program had no negative effect on troop morale and that it might even have raised it a bit. The Army’s sole concern about the broadcasts was that “Rose” appeared to have good intelligence on U.S. ship and troop movements.
Musette bag-The lightweight and easy to use Musette Bag was a popular alternative pack for many soldiers. Although the Musette Bag was never the standard backpack, it was used widely in all theaters of World War II.
PBY- The PBY Catalina (also known as the Black Cat, Dumbo or P-Boat) is a flying boat mostly used by the US Navy in the Pacific Theater of World War II. However, they were used in every theater, by US, British and Soviet forces. It is the most diverse aircraft used in the war, as it was capable of being applied in conventional bombing, torpedo bombing, mine laying, depth charging, reconnaissance, rescue, or cargo transport and could land on the water or a runway. The PBY is credited as the most successful flying boat in WWII and consequently was the most produced, with 3,000 in service.
Tonkinese- North Vietnamese
Bali H’ai- Ambae. From the East coast of Santo, the island is a blue pyramid rising from the ocean in the early morning light. But as the sun climbs higher, except for rare, clear days, the island quickly disappears behind a glare of sea haze. There was a real Bali Ha’i. Michener mentions in his book . In the Treasury Island in the Melanesian chain, he came across a village with scrawny residents, ramshackle huts and 1 pig. It was desolate and hopeless looking. On a cardboard sign, he saw the word, Bali Ha’i. The name stuck with him.
Shooting war- area in which there is shooting and fighting
Rectius vives Licini - to sell
Neque altum Semper urgendo dum procellas- Worthless nourish Always to drive until storm (?)
Jerry cans –large metal cans to hold gasoline or other liquids-usually strapped on jeeps
Scene 5 Act 1
Get off its can-(variations-butt, ass, duff) to stop being lazy or inert.
Corny- over-sentimental, naïve, and trite
Bromidic- boring, tedious person (from the use of bromide as a sedative)
C’est ca that’s it
Scene 9 Act 1
T’appelle I call
dans le jour in the day
dans la nuit in the night
dans ton Coeur in your heart
toujours resonne always calling
par ici by here
me voici Here I am
Si tu veux If you want
tu m’trouvera You will find me
ou le ciel or the sky
trouve la mer find the sea
laisse moi te prendre Let me take you
Scene 11 Act1
Je parle francais-un peu I speak french-a little
moi, aussi, un peu me, too, a little
cette vielle femme…votre amie ? this old woman…your friend ?
ma mere my mother
Scene 13 Act1
Je suis enchante de faire votre connaissance I am overjoyed to meet you
Merci mille fois Thank you a thousand times
Maintenat au lit vite to bed soon
Venez petits come small one
Bon soir good evening
Scene 2 Act 2
C’est lui he
Tois-toi il est malade tu comprends is ill you understand
Scene 3 Act2
Hurly-burly- a disorderly outburst or tumult
Pips – (pippero, pippon-early 1900s) a person or thing who is remarkable, wonderful
Scene4 Act 2
In a jam- in serious trouble
Scene 6 Act 2
Zinc oxide This medication is used to treat or prevent minor skin irritations (e.g., burns, cuts poison ivy, diaper rash).
Had sand enough- courage, stamina (grit)
Bettys – Japanese bombers
Scene 8 Act 2
Immelmanns -The Immelmann turn is a simple and effective maneuver. The name is derived from its inventor Max Immelmann, a WWI German Ace who devised the method.He would make a high energy pass at his opponent, pulling up into an efficient vertical climb until he was sure he was out of guns range of his enemy, then he would use a rudder reversal to drop back down from a position of advantage and repeat his attack.
Wingover A flight maneuver or stunt in which an airplane enters a climbing turn until almost stalled and is allowed to fall while the turn is continued until normal flight is attained in a direction opposite the original heading.
Scene 10 Act 2
Piffle (from late 1800s England) nonsense-a mild exclamation of rejection, disbelief.
Pinhead a stupid person
Scene 11 Act 2
Eager beavers –(from WWII armed forces) energetic, ambitious striver
LCT- Landing Craft Tanks
Scene 12 Act 2
P-40s—A fighter plane-Even though it served brilliantly, frequently fighting against the odds, and amassed an exceptional kill to loss ratio, it is still often thought of as a slow, unmanuverable, and obsolescent fighter. It fought in the Pacific against overwhelming enemy numbers, flying in some of the harshest conditions to be found on earth, and held the line for two years, until newer planes could be brought into service.
Heel- a contemptible person (from early 1900s-shit heel)
Act I Scene 1
People: Ngana, Jerome-children, Henry-servant, Nellie, Emile
Location: Emile’s plantation on South Pacific Island
Time: early afternoon, 1943
Words/ Phrases: - running away, running to
Research Notes: glossary-flowers, French terms, Proust, Gide, slang terms-hick, sticks, cockeyed, knucklehead, selling a bill- Life in America-Little Rock- The Islands,
Transitions: lights out, then people run on
Act I Scene 2
People- sailors, Seabees, marines, Bloody Mary
Location edge of palm grove by beach
Time: same time as scene 1
Words/Phrases- stingy, cheap, you buy?
Research Notes- glossary- tapa cloth, GI, Joe DiMaggio, sadsack, droopy drawers, betel nuts, Seabees
Transition: lights down at end of song
Act 1, Scene 3
People- Bloody Mary, O’Brien, Billis, Professor, Quale, Stewpot, Nellie, Cable, Harbison, Brackett, nurses, sailors, marines
Location: Bloody Mary’s kiosk
Time: immediately following scene2
Words/Phrases: Bali H’ai, sexy, dame, come to me
Research Notes: glossary-boar’s tooth, knock it off, dame, musette bag, PBY, tonkinese, latin terms-The Islands-Bali H’ai, Life in America-different areas of country
Transitions- Cable ends song, lights fade
Act 1, Scene 4
People- Billis, Stewpot, Cable, sailors, Seabees, nurses, Professor, natives
Location: Company St
Time: a week later
Words/phrases: boat, bali h’ai
Research notes: glossary-jerry can
Transitions: Billis stalking off, curtain falls
Act 1, Scene 5
People: Brackett, Cable, Harbison, Nellie
Location: Brackett’s office
Time: soon after scene 4
Words/phrases: know him
Research Notes- WWII-Pacific, glossary-chow, can
Transitions: Harbison leaving, lights fade
Act 1 Scene 6
People: nurse, GIs, natives, Cable, Nellie
Location: Company Street
Time: next day
Words/phrases: letter, mother, difference
Research notes: none
Transitions: lights down
Act 1, Scene 7
People: Billis, Nellie, Dinah,