"South Pacific"

“South Pacific” opens Tuesday at ASU Gammage.

Peter Coombs

Rodgers and Hammersteins’s “South Pacific” may be set in World War II, but its portrayal of Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime is relevant today, as families, friends and employers here in the states welcome home veterans returning from the war in Iraq.

The musical, set on a tropical island during the second world war, opens Tuesday at ASU Gammage in Tempe. It tells the story of two couples and how their happiness is threatened by war — and by their own prejudices.

The show is a new production based on the 2008 Broadway revival of “South Pacific,” which won seven Tony Awards and was broadcast live in 2010 on PBS.

There’s something worth seeing off-stage, too. On opening night, Gammage’s lobby televisions will screen photos of local service members, submitted by friends and family from around the Valley. They’re calling it the Heroes Night celebration.

DETAILS>> Opens 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and runs through Jan. 15. ASU Gammage, 1500 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. Tickets start at $23.50. (480) 965-3434 or www.asugammage.com.

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