Home » How to Set a Broadway’s South Pacific Table

This tropical table setting brings to life the exotic and favorite characters, the feelings of excitement, danger, romance and love conquering all that is Broadway’s, South Pacific. Transport your guests to another era and another place! 


So,  you know I love a good tablescape. But it’s unlikely you know this about me; I LOVE live theater.

This Love Started Early

Here’s another bit of Knockitoffkim trivia – I’m a one-time stage actor. Yes, friends, I once held the lead role of “Snow White.”  For weeks on end, rehearsed the perfect sob, for hours and hours at a time. Believe it when I say I nailed the forest scene where the flawed but kind Woodcutter leaves Snow White in the woods. But, the pivotal moment of my performance came when I, as Snow White, returned from the dead briefly to help my beloved dwarfs, raising my arms so they could carry me off the stage. #whosaysdeadgirlsdontdance.

All about the Show Tunes

These days, I spend a lot more time watching live theater than participating in it and have seen several productions, much more than once. My favorites include Cats, Wicked, Les Miserable, and Phantom of the Opera. I also have a bucket list of those I will see someday. On it? Hamilton. Duh. Also on that list, “South Pacific.” I’ve seen “South Pacific” in every digital way possible and almost every version made, but I’ve never seen it live. Some day, I will change that, and I will experience all of the romance, danger, and excitement first hand. I’ll be front and center, belting out “Wash that Man right outta my hair” and “Some Enchanted Evening”! As for today, I’ll have to settle for bringing the Broadway production to life through this fun tablescape. I created this table setting for the Broadway Tablescape Blog Hop, hosted by the dear Chloe at Celebrate & Decorate.


Broadway’s South Pacific for your Table

I had SO much fun putting this table setting together, showcasing my favorite moments and characters of the production and bringing the feelings and exotic setting of the play to my very own home. To help you do the same in your home, I’m sharing a free “South Pacific” Playbill printable with subscribers to my newsletter. Rest assured you can unsubscribe at any time!

South Pacific Broadway Table setting Tony Awards

Bloody Mary (‘s are) is the Best

If you’ve never seen the play or the movie(s), first, fix that right now. Go on – watch it and come back.

Next, know it is the most romantic of love stories set in the South Pacific during World War II.  Nellie, a self-proclaimed Cockeyed Optimist and Navy nurse, falls in love with a French Plantation owner with a shady past. “South Pacific” has it all – Excitement, glamor, palm trees, racism, and a passionate love. So, so much love. If that isn’t enough, “South Pacific” has Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary is a feisty Vietnamese woman, who’s broken English is made up entirely of dialogue she’s learned from the GI’s stationed there. You can imagine how colorful and expletive her language might be automatically making her one of my favorite characters. #Iloveagoodcussword.

She’s represented in this tablescape with her namesake cocktail – the Bloody Mary and the grass skirts she sells.

Based on a Book

“South Pacific” is based on James Michener’s 1946 Tales of the South Pacific. A quote from Tales of the South Pacific reads “I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into spray, and inner lagoons, lovely beyond description. I wish I could tell you about the sweating jungle, the full moon rising behind the volcanoes, and the waiting. The waiting, the timeless, repetitive waiting.”

This “crate” started out life as an Amazon box. With a little added trim and a stencil a perfect prop for this tablescape is born!

Women in the 40s had the best hair accessories

“South Pacific” takes place in the 40s. Polka dots are always in style, but for some reason, the polka dot hair scarf reminds me of that era, hence the reason I added a polka dot scarf to my napkins.

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A Much-loved Play that Transcends Time and Eras

“South Pacific” won 10 Tony Awards during its initial run in 1950 and another 7 for its first revival in 2008. It closed on August 22, 2010 – I’m waiting patiently for its return!

Although I won’t be crossing “South Pacific” off my bucket list anytime soon, I’ll hold out hope that someday there will be another revival. In the meantime, there’s always Hamilton.. and my acting career!

Huge thanks to Chloe for including me in this hop. Be sure to check back every day this week as we gear up for the upcoming Tony Awards. Today, be sure to check out tablescapes from Everyday Living and Up To Date Interiors. And, don’t forget your free Playbill Printable

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  1. Pam Richardson says:

    Kim, what a fun South Pacific table with all of your details! I haven’t seen South Pacific but who wouldn’t after seeing your fabulous interpretation! I will enjoy table hopping with you this week!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much, Pam! I always love these hops – so great to see what everyone comes up with. I can’t wait to see everyone’s settings!

  2. Rita C at Panoply says:

    How creatively fun you mastered the South Pacific theme, Kim! I have to admit, the South Pacific IS on my bucket list, and I hope it becomes a reality in the not too distant future. Love how you turned the box into crate, the BM (yasss!), and all the tropical florals on your tablescape. Live theater and dance has always played a large part in my family. As dancers, actors and singers, my girls & I have spent many years in stage performances. Bravo to your interpretation!

    • admin says:

      Thank you, Rita! I hope so as well! Our families are very similar – performing is in our blood as well. I’ll keep hoping that we both have the opportunity to cross this one off our lists!

  3. Oh my, how adorable! I am loving the creativity on this first day of the blog hop! Your “crate” is so original and makes the perfect base for your centerpiece! The Bloody Mary’s were the perfect beverage! I am so impressed! I hope you get to see this show live sometime in the not too distant future. I am fascinated to learn that more than a couple of us in this group of bloggers have performed on stage…me too!

  4. Carol says:

    Kim, South Pacific is one of my favorite musicals. The music is some of Rogers and Hammerstein’s best. What tragic stories of love and war. I saw South Pacific live at the Dallas Summer Musicals as a young girl and it was wonderful. I love how you transformed the Amazon box into a NAVY crate. Great job.

  5. Jenna says:

    The tropical flowers are just popping off the page Kim! South Pacific is one of my favorite musicals too, in fact you will see my table on Thursday! I am not an actress, but I did help design and paint the set when South Pacific was my high school musical. I LOVE the amazon box you repurposed into a Navy crate, so clever!! Everything looks so Bali hai! I’m off to wash that man right outta my hair!

  6. This is adorable and you’ve definitely piqued my interest in South Pacific. I would love to see it live but for now, I’ll settle for the movie and a Bloody Mary. Well done, Kim!

  7. Kathy says:

    This is such a fun table Kim! Love the nod to the 40s (my favorite era) and your mix of patterns and colors are fantastic. I need to see South Pacific and I want everything you listed in your shopping guide. 🙂

  8. Linda says:

    Very fun and tropical tablescape Kim. The centerpiece is lovely with all of the fruit. makes me feel like I am in the islands. We love Bloody Marys…LOL. It is fun to be able to blog hop with you.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Linda! You can never go wrong with Bloody Marys! This really has been such a fun hop.. now, if only we could hop to the islands we’d have it made! lol

  9. Bonnie Morgan says:

    Enjoyed your creativity with this tablescape. I have seen South Pacific and the songs are wonderful. You did a wonderful job with the theme and styling.

  10. jeanie says:

    Just perfect for South Pacific — I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t had Bloody Mary’s! And wonderful centerpiece. (The music of SP is great but it’s REALLY LONG! Those Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals of the late 40s-early 50s had the best tunes and the longest acts! When it comes to your town, be prepared to sit!)

  11. Sandy Park says:

    Kim, wonderful tablescape. I was wondering if you could tell me where you got the floral tablecloth. I love it.

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much, Sandy! Believe it or not, it’s a vinyl tablecloth that I picked up at Walmart for $3. They have the cutest tropical line out right now – I picked up a few cute pitchers as well with pineapples printed on the front. They’ll be perfect for the patio this summer!

  12. Emily says:

    Okay, this tablescape hop was meant for me! I’ve loved musicals since I was a kid (my favorite is The Music Man). I love how you’ve interpreted South Pacific into a beautiful table, with so many perfect details!! And I gotta tell you – while we were in Kauai, there was live music at one of the restaurants we ate at and the band was playing songs from South Pacific!

    • admin says:

      Let’s just stop right at Kauai and how I could have very easily fit into your suitcase! You HAVE to join in on the fun next time!

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