Some Enchanted Evening, There Is Nothing Like A Dame, Bali Ha’i, I’m Going To Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair: The Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein musical South Pacific is packed with songs that have become American standards since the show made its Broadway debut in 1949.

This weekend at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, a concert production by the Island Theatre Workshop celebrates the songs Rodgers and Hammerstein created for their Pulitzer-winning musical.

Cast includes veterans and youth. — Maria Thibodeau

“We’re giving up big sets and splashy backdrops, choreography and lighting to simply honor the music,” director Kevin Ryan said. “It’s some of the best Rodgers and Hammerstein ever wrote.”

Accompanied by pianist Adele Dreyer, violinist Liz Henderson and cellist Jan Hyer, soloists Jennie Friedman, David Behnke, Ken Romero and Shelley Brown are backed up by a lively chorus of sailors and nurses. Young Vineyarders Annabelle Brothers and Zachary Mathias play the children, out of wedlock, of Mr. Behnke’s character Emile de Becque.

Ms. Friedman plays Nellie Forbush, the Southern nurse who finds herself attracted to wealthy French planter de Becque. Mr. Romero is the conflicted lieutenant Joe Cable and Ms. Brown the brassy, confident Bloody Mary.

Mr. Ryan is not only directing the show, but conducting the music with his trusty pencil playing the role of a baton. It’s only the second time in his 27 years with Island Theatre Workshop that the company has presented a concert musical, he said. The first, several years back, was a one-act comedy called The True Story of Cinderella.

Based on short stories by James Michener about the Second World War, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific was an intentional — and controversial — polemic against racism, with multiple plot lines taking aim at discrimination. But apart from Lieut. Cable’s song You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught, which argues that racists are made and not born, this theme is muted in the concert version of South Pacific.

Only the second time in 27 years that Island Theatre Workshop has presented a concert musical. — Maria Thibodeau

“The Broadway production tells a story that is so full of racism and anger that it started to bother me a little,” Mr. Ryan said. “In the concert version, the dialogue is minimized.”

And, he said, the musical retains its integrity even with limited dialogue. “The core of the show, the music, is just absolutely beautiful,” Mr. Ryan said. “You walk out tapping your toe.”

The South Pacific concert trims more than an hour from the nearly three-hour running time of the full musical, clocking in at less than two hours including the intermission, Mr. Ryan said.

Performances at the Old Whaling Church are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, available at the door.