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Encyclopedia > Show Boat
Show Boat
Window card for the 1994 revival
Music Jerome Kern
Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Book Oscar Hammerstein II
Based upon Edna Ferber's novel Show Boat
Productions 1927 Broadway
1929 Film
1932 Broadway revival
1936 Film
1946 Broadway revival
1951 Film
1983 Broadway revival
1994 Broadway revival
Awards Tony Award for Best Revival
For films based on the musical, see Show Boat (film).

Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. One notable exception is the song "Bill", which was originally written for Kern in 1918 by P. G. Wodehouse but reworked by Hammerstein for Show Boat. Two other songs not by Kern and Hammerstein — "Goodbye, My Lady Love" by Joseph Howard and "After the Ball" by Charles K. Harris — are always interpolated into American stage productions of the show. Image File history File links Show_Boat_Poster. ... Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of popular music. ... For work done with Richard Rodgers, see Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar Hammerstein II (July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was a New-York born writer, producer, and (usually uncredited) director of musicals for almost forty years. ... For work done with Richard Rodgers, see Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar Hammerstein II (July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was a New-York born writer, producer, and (usually uncredited) director of musicals for almost forty years. ... Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 - April 16, 1968), was an American novelist, author and playwright. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Tony Award for Best Revival (Musical) has been awarded since 1994. ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber. ... The Black Crook (1866) is considered the first musical comedy Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ... Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of popular music. ... For work done with Richard Rodgers, see Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar Hammerstein II (July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was a New-York born writer, producer, and (usually uncredited) director of musicals for almost forty years. ... Pelham Grenville Wodehouse KBE (October 15, 1881 – February 14, 1975) (IPA: ) was an English comic writer who has enjoyed enormous popular success for more than seventy years. ... Charles Kassel Harris (May 1, 1867 – December 2, 1930) was a well regarded American songwriter of popular music. ...


Show Boat is based on a 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber and is generally considered to be the first true American "musical play" — a dramatic form with popular music, separate from operettas, light musical comedies of the 1890s and early 20th century (e.g., Florodora), and the "Follies"-type musical revues that preceded it. In many ways, it took the plot-and-character-centered "Princess Musicals" that Kern had developed with Bolton and Wodehouse in the previous decade and broadened their scope. Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 - April 16, 1968), was an American novelist, author and playwright. ... Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. ... Cover of the Vocal Score Edwardian Musical Comedies are those British musical theatre shows from the period between the 1890s, when Gilbert and Sullivan began to lose their dominance, to the rise of the American musicals by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern following the First World War. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Florodora was one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the 20th century. ... A revue is a type of theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches that satirize contemporary figures, news, or literature. ...


George S. Kaufman and George Gershwin's Strike Up the Band, which previewed earlier that year, clearly made similar leaps, although their subject matter was satirical and farcical. Unlike Strike Up the Band and the "Princess Theatre" musicals, though, Show Boat was sentimental and somewhat tragic; it also displayed the style of a musical epic, contrasted with an intimate show with two sets and only a few characters. George Simon Kaufman (November 16, 1889 - June 2, 1961) was an American playwright, director, producer, humorist, and drama critic noted for his many collaborations with other writers and his contributions to 20th century American comedy. ... “Gershwin” redirects here. ... Strike Up The Band may refer to: Strike Up The Band, a 1927 song by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin written for a Broadway musical by the same name Strike Up the Band, a 1940 MGM musical directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney Strike Up... The epic is a broadly defined genre of narrative poetry, characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. ...

Contents

Plot synopsis

The story spans 47 years, beginning aboard the showboat Cotton Blossom in the 1880s, on the Mississippi River near Natchez, Mississippi. Cap'n Andy Hawks, owner of the showboat, introduces all of his actors to the excited crowd on the levee. The Music City Queen on the Cumberland River, Nashville. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... Melrose, an antebellum home in Natchez, Mississippi. ...


Almost immediately, a fist fight breaks out between Steve Baker, the leading man of the troupe, and Pete, a rough, ill-mannered engineer who had been making passes at Steve's wife, Julie La Verne, the company's leading lady. Steve knocks Pete down and Pete swears revenge, apparently knowing some dark secret about Julie. Cap'n Andy pretends to the shocked crowd that the fight was a preview of a scene from one of the melodramas performed on the boat. The troupe exits with the showboat band.


A riverboat gambler, Gaylord Ravenal, comes aboard the boat and is taken with eighteen year old Magnolia Hawks, an aspiring performer and daughter of Cap'n Andy and his wife Parthy Ann. Magnolia (aka Nolie) is likewise smitten with Ravenal. She seeks advice from Joe, one of the Negro (the word then in vogue) workers aboard the boat. He mutters to himself that she ought to ask the river for advice, and, with the other dock workers joining him in the second chorus of the song, sings Ol' Man River. Gaylord Ravenal is the leading male character in both Edna Ferbers novel Show Boat and in the famous Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical play of the same name, based on the novel. ... Ol Man River (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that tells the story of African American hardship and struggles of the time. ...


During the rehearsal for that evening's show, full of comical blunders, the mood abruptly changes when Julie and Steve are alerted that the town sheriff is coming to arrest them. To the shock of all except Julie, Steve then takes out a large pocket knife and makes a cut on the back of her hand, sucking the blood and swallowing it. Then Pete returns with the sheriff, who insists that the show not go on, because Julie is a mulatto woman married to a white man, and local laws prohibit miscegenation. Julie admits that she is a mulatto. But Steve, because he swallowed Julie's blood (and therefore has at least "one drop of black blood" in him), is able to claim that he too is mulatto. The sympathetic troupe backs him up. The sheriff is powerless to arrest Julie and Steve, but they must leave town anyway. Pete is fired by Cap'n Andy. As Julie and Steve prepare to leave, Gaylord Ravenal returns and asks for passage on the boat: his gambling has cost him the boat ticket he planned to use to leave town. Noticing Ravenal's good looks, Andy immediately hires him as the new leading man, and suggests, over Parthy's objections, that Magnolia be the new leading lady. Julie bids a tearful goodbye to Magnolia and leaves with Steve. Mulatto (Spanish mulato, small mule, person of mixed race, mulatto, from mulo, mule, from Old Spanish, from Latin mūlus. ... Frederick Douglass with his second wife Helen Pitts Douglass (sitting) who was white, a famous 19th century American example of miscegenation. ... The one-drop theory (or one-drop rule) is a historical colloquial term in the United States that holds that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry (however small or invisible) can not be considered white[1] and so unless said person has an alternative non-white ancestry...


Weeks later, Magnolia and Gaylord are an enormous hit with the crowds and have fallen deeply in love. Gaylord proposes to Magnolia and she accepts. The two are married while Parthy is out of town: she can do nothing, despite her disapproval of Gaylord.


Years pass. Gaylord and Magnolia are living in Chicago with their daughter, Kim. Gaylord's gambling debts are out of control, so their living quarters are a cheap apartment. Depressed and shamed by his inability to support his family, Gaylord leaves Nolie. Frank and Ellie, two actors on the boat, choose this time to visit. These old friends seek a singing job for Magnolia at the same club where they are doing a New Year's show. Unbeknownst to Magnolia, Julie, abandoned by Steve and now a drunken cabaret singer, hears Magnolia singing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", the song Julie taught her years ago. Julie abandons her position so that Magnolia can fill it. (At this point, the character of Julie completely disappears from both the stage and the 1936 film versions, though in the 1951 film she is given one more scene near the end.) Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... Cant Help Lovin Dat Man, music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, is one of the most famous songs from their classic 1927 musical play Show Boat, adapted from Edna Ferbers novel. ...


On New Year's Eve, Andy comes to the club, unaware of Magnolia's presence and troubles, only to discover her choked with emotion and nearly being booed off stage. Andy rallies the crowd to her defense by standing up and initiating a grand sing-along of the old song "After the Ball". Magnolia becomes a great musical star.


More than 20 years pass; it is now 1927. Magnolia has become an international star of the stage and radio. Cap'n Andy has a chance meeting with Ravenal and, knowing that Magnolia is retiring from the stage and returning to the Cotton Blossom with Kim, arranges for a reunion. Although Ravenal is uncertain whether he has the right to ask Magnolia to take him back, she does. As the happy couple walks up the boat's ganglank, Joe and the chorus sing a final reprise of "Ol' Man River".

Note: The 1951 MGM film changed many aspects of the story. A major change brings Ravenal and Magnolia back together only a few years after they separated rather than twenty-three years afterward. Gaylord has a chance meeting with Julie, and learns that he has a daughter he didn't know about. Kim is seen only as a cute child in this film.

Songs

The original production ran nearly four hours but was trimmed to just over three by the time it actually got to Broadway. The show is now never performed onstage at exactly its original length, although virtually all stage productions run nearly three hours. Two songs, "Till Good Luck Comes My Way" (sung by Ravenal) and "Hey Feller!" (sung by Queenie) were written mainly to cover scenery changes, could easily be cut without hurting the story, and were discarded beginning with the 1946 revival, although "Till Good Luck" was included in the 1993 Harold Prince revival of the show. The comedy song "I Might Fall Back On You" was also cut beginning in 1946, although it was retained in a different scene in the 1951 film version. Several productions over the last twenty-five years or so have also reinstated it. "Hey Feller!" has turned up again only on the 1988 EMI album. Two new songs were written by Kern and Hammerstein for other stage productions of the show, and three more were written by them for the 1936 film version. Hal Prince (born January 30, 1928), full name Harold Smith Prince, is a theatre producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical (and less notably, dramatic) productions of the past half-century. ...


Typically, productions pick and choose from the original material and fashion a distinct version of Show Boat. Songs usually found in modern productions include the following:

  • Overture — The original overture, used in all stage productions up to 1946 (and heard on the three-disc EMI/Angel CD for the first time in nearly 50 years), is dramatic and largely based on the deleted song "Mis'ry's Comin' Round". (Kern wanted to save this song in some form.) The song was restored in the 1993 revival of the show. It also contains fragments of "Ol' Man River" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", and, towards the end, there is a lively, rather than slow, rendition of "Why Do I Love You?". The overture for the 1946 revival is a standard medley consisting of "Mis'ry's Comin' Round", "Ol' Man River", "Why Do I Love You?", "Make Believe," and Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man". Still another overture was arranged for the 1966 Lincoln Center revival, consisting of a medley of all these songs, but adding the comic number "I Might Fall Back on You", which is otherwise never included in the overture. All three overtures were arranged by Robert Russell Bennett.
  • "Cotton Blossom" — The notes in the phrase "Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom" are the same notes as those in the phrase "Old Man River, dat Old Man River," but inverted. However, "Cotton Blossom" was written first, and "Ol' Man River" was written only after Kern and Hammerstein realized they needed a song to end the first scene in the show. Hammerstein decided to use the idea of the Mississippi River as a basis for the song, and told Kern to use the melody that the stevedores sang in "Cotton Blossom", but invert some of it, and slow down the tempo. This adaptation gave "Ol' Man River" a somewhat tragic quality.
  • "Where's the Mate for Me?"
  • "Make Believe" -- sung by Magnolia and Gaylord at first meeting
  • "Ol' Man River"
  • "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" — Queenie's surprise at the apparently white Julie's knowledge of a "black folks'" song foreshadows the discovery of Julie's mixed origins.
  • "Life Upon the Wicked Stage"
  • "Till Good Luck Comes My Way"
  • "I Might Fall Back on You"
  • "Queenie's Ballyhoo"
  • "Olio Dance"
  • "You Are Love" — a song sung in waltz tempo that nearly all critics and audiences are fond of, but considered by Jerome Kern to be the score's worst song: he tried unsuccessfully to eliminate it from the 1936 film version. It has never been cut from any stage production.
  • "Act I Finale"
  • "At the Chicago World's Fair" — the Act II opening chorus, sometimes eliminated and never sung in a film version of the show (it was played instrumentally in the 1936 version).
  • "Why Do I Love You?"
  • "Bill" — lyrics co-written by Hammerstein and P. G. Wodehouse
  • "After the Ball" — a song (waltz) by Charles K. Harris from 1892

The instrumentation for the show, according to the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett, is one flute (doubling as piccolo), one oboe (doubling as English horn), two clarinets, one bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, one trombone, percussion, one banjo, and strings. For other men named Robert Bennett, see Robert Bennett (disambiguation). ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... Cant Help Lovin Dat Man, music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, is one of the most famous songs from their classic 1927 musical play Show Boat, adapted from Edna Ferbers novel. ... Pelham Grenville Wodehouse KBE (October 15, 1881 – February 14, 1975) (IPA: ) was an English comic writer who has enjoyed enormous popular success for more than seventy years. ... Charles Kassel Harris (May 1, 1867 – December 2, 1930) was a well regarded American songwriter of popular music. ... See also: 1891 in music, other events of 1892, 1893 in music and the list of years in music. Events After The Ball becomes the first sheet music to sell over 1 million copies (for a single publisher in a single year) Published popular music After The Ball     w. ... Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium. ... For other men named Robert Bennett, see Robert Bennett (disambiguation). ... â™  This article is about the family of musical instruments. ... This article is about the instrument in the flute family. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Cor anglais The cor anglais or English horn is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left, with capped mouthpiece) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers and occasionally even higher. ... The horn is a brass instrument consisting of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... The trumpet is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ... Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... For other uses, see Banjo (disambiguation) The banjo is a stringed instrument developed by enslaved Africans in the United States, adapted from several African instruments. ... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ...


Production history

Before the Broadway premiere of Show Boat -- from November 15, 1927, until December 19 -- Ziegfeld produced tryouts at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Nixon Theatre in Pittsburgh, the Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, and thrice at the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia.[1][2] The show opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York on December 27, 1927, where it ran for a year and a half. In computing, a preview may be where output of a particular document, page, film, etc. ... The National Theatre is located in Washington, D.C. and is a venue for a variety of live stage productions with seating for 1,676. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... City nickname: The Steel City Location in the state of Pennsylvania Founded 1758 Mayor Tom Murphy (Dem) Area  - Total  - Water 151. ... Cleveland redirects here. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ... The Ziegfeld Theatre was a Broadway theatre formerly located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. ... This article is about the state. ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (362nd in leap years). ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Show Boat, with its serious and dramatic nature, was considered a turning point for producer Florenz Ziegfeld, previously known mainly for revues such as the Follies. The scenic design for the original production was by Joseph Urban, who had worked with Ziegfeld for many years in his Follies and had designed the elaborate new Ziegfeld Theatre itself. 1928 Time cover featuring Ziegfeld Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. ... A revue is a theatrical entertainment based around music with dancing and sketches or skits either on contemporary news or the venue or base of the theatre company concerned, such as college or medical school. ... The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931. ... Scenic design also known as Stage design is the creation of theatrical scenery. ... Joseph Urban (May 26, 1872 – July 10, 1933) Born in Vienna, Austria, died in New York City, trained as an architect, known also for his theatrical design and his early illustrations of children´s books. ... The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931. ...


The role of Joe, the stevedore who sings "Ol' Man River", was specifically written for Paul Robeson (although Joe does appear in Ferber's novel, where he is a cook instead of a stevedore). Robeson, however, eventually had to back out of the Broadway run because the producer, Florenz Ziegfeld, postponed the show in favor of the much less ambitious (and less risky) Rio Rita. Hence Jules Bledsoe played Joe on Broadway, although Robeson finally played the role (a part for which he became world-famous) in four notable productions of the show: the 1928 London production (with Alberta Hunter as Queenie and Mabel Mercer in the black chorus), the 1932 New York revival, the 1936 film version, and a 1940 stage revival in Los Angeles. Bledsoe, despite being famous at the time, has faded into obscurity. Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was a multi-lingual American actor, athlete, bass-baritone concert singer, writer, civil rights activist, Communist sympathizer, Spingarn Medal winner, and Lenin Peace Prize laureate. ... A theatrical producer is the person ultimately responsible for overseeing all aspects of mounting a theatrical production. ... 1928 Time cover featuring Ziegfeld Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. ... Jules Bledsoe (1903–1943), baritone, was an renowned opera singer and the first African American artist to gain regular employment in Broadway. ... Alberta Hunter (April 1, 1895 - October 17, 1984), was a celebrated African-American jazz singer, songwriter and nurse. ... A photo of cabaret performer Mabel Mercer, from the archives of The Mabel Mercer Foundation. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ...


After its closing in 1929, the show was revived on Broadway in 1932 at the Casino Theatre, in 1946 (a return to the Ziegfeld Theatre), in 1983 at the Uris Theatre (presented by Douglas Urbanski), and in 1994 at the same theatre[1] Other American productions include one in 1966 at the New York State Theater in the Lincoln Center, two (1954 and 1961) at the New York City Center, and the 1983 Washington, DC, Kennedy Center production, which starred Mickey Rooney as Cap'n Andy. A revival is a restaging of a former hit play at a later date. ... The Casino Theatre was a New York City Broadway theatre from 1882 to 1930 in the United States of America. ... The George Gershwin Theatre, located at 222 West 51st Street in New York City, was originally built as the Uris Theatre in 1972. ... Douglas Urbanski (born 17 February 1957 in Somerville, New Jersey) is a theatre impresario, raconteur and film producer. ... , The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, seen from the Lincoln Center Plaza. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. ... New York City Center Logo New York City Center is a 2,750-seat performing arts venue located on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan, New York City. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... The Kennedy Center as seen from the Potomac River. ... Actor Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USO. Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr. ...


The 1994 Livent Inc. production was produced and directed by Harold Prince and opened in Toronto, Canada, in 1993, and on Broadway in October of 1994. This production later went on tour, playing at the Kennedy Center, also being put on in London and Melbourne, Australia. Prince's production revitalized interest in the show by tightening the book, dropping and adding songs that had been cut in various productions, and highlighting the racial elements of the show. Perhaps the most notable change in the score was Prince's transforming "Why Do I Love You?" from a duet between Magnolia and Ravenal to a lullaby sung by Parthy Ann to Magnolia's baby girl. This change was designed partly to allow a song to be sung by stage actress Elaine Stritch, who played Parthy Ann but did not have the "operetta" voice that Magnolia and Ravenal are supposed to have, and partly because the revival featured a love duet for the couple, I Have the Room Above Her, originally written by Kern and Hammerstein for the 1936 film version, in which it was sung by Allan Jones and Irene Dunne. If Why Do I Love You had been sung by them in the revival as well, it would have brought the total of their love duets to four, rather than the usual three. The change very likely disappointed several Show Boat lovers, who would have liked to hear the song sung as a duet by trained voices. Hal Prince (born January 30, 1928), full name Harold Smith Prince, is a theatre producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical (and less notably, dramatic) productions of the past half-century. ... Motto: Diversity Our Strength Map of Ontario Counties, Toronto being red Area: 641 sq. ... Elaine Stritch (born on February 2, 1925) is an Irish-American actress and singer. ... Allan Jones (b. ... Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 - September 4, 1990) was a five-time Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer of the 1930s and 1940s. ...


Show Boat has been produced on multiple occasions in London's West End. These productions include a May 1928 production at the Drury Lane Theatre[3] and a July 1971 production at the Adelphi Theatre that ran for 909 performances.[2] Another notable revival in England was the joint Opera North/Royal Shakespeare Company production of 1989.[4] Showboat was also produced in June 2006 by Raymond Gubbay at London's Royal Albert Hall. Directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by David Charles Abell, this was the first fully-staged musical production in the history of this venue, West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre in London, England, or sometimes more specifically for shows staged in the large theatres of Londons Theatreland. Along with New Yorks Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre... Currently home to Lord Of The Rings, the musical. ... The Adam brothers Adelphi Buildings in an 18th-century print; the terrace stood upon riverfront warehousing. ... Opera North is a British opera company. ... Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a British theatre company. ... Raymond Gubbay is a world famous classical music promotor based in London. ... “Albert Hall” redirects here. ... Francesca Zambello (born 1956) is a leading American opera and theatre director. ...


Show Boat was also adapted as a movie on four occasions: in 1929; 1936, directed by James Whale; 1946 (as a mini-show inside the movie Till the Clouds Roll By); and 1951. And it was videotaped in live performance for television in 1989 at the Paper Mill Playhouse. The 1936 and 1951 films, as well as the television version, retained the miscegenation sequence; the 1929 film version did not. (See Show Boat (film)). This article is about motion pictures. ... See also: 1928 in film 1929 1930 in film 1920s in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events The days of the silent film were numbered. ... See also: 1935 in film 1936 1937 in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events January 6 - first Porky Pig animated cartoon September 28 - The Marx Brothers Harpo Marx marries actress Susan Fleming Top grossing films in North America Red River Valley Academy Awards Best Picture: The Great... James Whale (July 22, 1889 – May 29, 1957) was a ground-breaking British Hollywood film director, best known for his work in the horror movie genre, making such pictures as Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man. ... See also: 1945 in film 1946 1947 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Top grossing films North America The Bells of St. ... Till The Clouds Roll By is an American musical-biographical film released by MGM in 1946. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Paper Mill Playhouse is a regional theatre located in Millburn, New Jersey, less than 25 miles away from Manhattan. ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber. ...


Radio productions

During the days of live radio, Show Boat was presented in that medium at least six times. There were four especially notable productions. Live radio is radio broadcasted without delay. ...

  • One was presented and directed by Orson Welles, on his radio show Campbell Playhouse in 1939. This was a non-musical version of the story that, like the 1929 film, was based more closely on Edna Ferber's novel than on the musical. However, Helen Morgan, who had played the role of Julie in the musical, played her again in this version, although the one song she sang on the broadcast was not from the musical. Orson Welles portrayed Cap'n Andy, Margaret Sullavan was Magnolia, and author Edna Ferber made her acting debut as Parthy. The presentation was exceptionally faithful to Ferber's novel, except for one change. Because interracial marriages were controversial as a radio subject, the character of Julie was changed from a mulatto married to a white man to merely an unmarried mulatto, whose mere presence on the boat is controversial despite her being single. Her ultimate fate as a prostitute and her accidental encounter with Magnolia--both are elements of Ferber's novel--were also left unmentioned.
  • Another radio version, based on the stage musical, was presented on Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater in 1940. It featured Irene Dunne , Allan Jones, and Charles Winninger, all of whom were in the 1936 film version. However, neither Helen Morgan nor Paul Robeson appeared on the program. This production, like the 1929 film, also suffered from censorship, catering to the fears of radio and film producers of that era by completely omitting the subject of miscegenation. Still, as in the show, the town sheriff does show up to arrest Julie (played by a non-singing Gloria Holden). Instead of being a woman of mixed blood who is illegally married to a white man, Julie in this production becomes an illegal alien who had served jail time and must now be deported! The song "Bill" is totally eliminated, and it is Magnolia, not Julie, who sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man". Only a fragment of the song "Ol' Man River" is used, even though Paul Robeson had appeared in the 1936 film and sang the song in its entirety there. (The show's one-hour format and its time reserved for Lux commercials explains the cuts.)
  • Another radio version, condensed to a half-hour, was similarly squeamish about the racial angle. Broadcast in 1950 on "The Railroad Hour," it starred Gordon MacRae, Dorothy Kirsten, and Lucille Norman. The miscegenation is not referred to at all; it is simply mentioned on the show that Julie and her husband have left the boat — no reason given. MacRae not only plays the role of gambler Gaylord Ravenal but sings Joe's song, "Ol' Man River".

Significantly, three of these four radio versions completely omitted the characters of Joe and his wife, Queenie. This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The Campbell Playhouse was a sponsored continuation of the Mercury Theater on the Air, a direct result of the instant publicity from the War of the Worlds panic. ... Margaret Sullavan Margaret Brooke Sullavan (May 16, 1911 - January 1, 1960) was an American actress. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ... Lux Radio Theater, one of the genuine classic radio anthology series (NBC Blue Network (1934-1935); CBS (1935-1954); NBC (1954-1955)) adapted first Broadway stage works, and then (especially) films to hour-long live radio presentations. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 - September 4, 1990) was a five-time Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer of the 1930s and 1940s. ... Allan Jones may refer to: Allan Arthur Jones Allan Jones (actor) Allan Jones (editor) Category: ... Charles Winninger (1884-1969) was an American stage and film actor, most often cast in comedies or musicals, but equally at home in drama. ... Ol Man River (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that tells the story of African American hardship and struggles of the time. ... The Railroad Hour was a half-hour musical drama series broadcast on radio from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s. ... Albert Gordon MacRae (born 12 March 1921 in East Orange, New Jersey, – died 24 January 1986 in Lincoln, Nebraska) was an American actor and singer, best known for his appearances in musical films of the 1950s. ... Dorothy Kirsten The American soprano Dorothy Kirsten (July 6, 1910–November 18, 1992) was a well-known opera singer whose stage career spanned from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s. ... Ol Man River (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that tells the story of African American hardship and struggles of the time. ... Lux Radio Theater, one of the genuine classic radio anthology series (NBC Blue Network, 1934-1935; CBS 1935-1955), adapted first Broadway stage and then (and especially) films to hour-long live radio presentations and became the standard by which future radio and early television anthologies would be judged. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... Kathryn Grayson (born February 9, 1922) is an American actress and singer who was born Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. ... Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990) was an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actress. ... Howard Keel, born Harry Clifford Leek (April 13, 1919 – November 7, 2004) was an American actor who starred in many of the classic film musicals of the 1950s. ... Portrait of William Warfield by Carl Van Vechten, Feb. ... Jay C. Flippen as Henry T-Dub Mansfield in They Live by Night Jay C. Flippen (March 6, 1899 - February 3, 1971) is best remembered as a gruff-faced actor usually playing a cop or weary criminal in many movies of the 1940s and 1950s. ...

  • Still another radio version, broadcast in 1944, [5] featured Kathryn Grayson, who played Magnolia for the first time. Starring opposite her was Allan Jones, who had played Ravenal in the 1936 film. Helen Forrest co-starred as Julie, Charles Winninger was again Cap'n Andy, Elvia Allman (the voice of Clarabelle Cow) was Parthy, and African-American film actor Ernest Whitman (who had appeared in the 1944 biographical film The Adventures of Mark Twain as a ship's stoker) was Joe.

Helen Forrests hit single I Had the Craziest Dream. ... Elvia Allman (September 19 1904 - March 6 1992) was a character actress and voice over performer in Hollywood films and television programs for over 50 years. ... Clarabelle Cow is a cartoon character from the Mickey Mouse universe. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... Superb example of claymation. ...

Original cast

The original 1927 production had these actors as its principal players:

Orchestrator: Robert Russell Bennett
Conductor: Victor Baravalle Norma Terris (1904-1989) was an American musical theatre star. ... Howard Marsh (died August 7, 1969) was a leading Broadway tenor of the 1920s. ... Charles Winninger (1884-1969) was an American stage and film actor, most often cast in comedies or musicals, but equally at home in drama. ... Jules Bledsoe (1903–1943), baritone, was an renowned opera singer and the first African American artist to gain regular employment in Broadway. ... Helen Morgan was an born 2 August 1900 in rural Danville, Illinois. ... Edna May Oliver (November 9, 1883 – November 9, 1942) was an Oscar-nominated American film actress. ... Sammy White (May 28, 1894 - March 3, 1960) was an American vaudeville song-and-dance comedian who appeared in a few films. ... Tess Gardella (1897 - January 3, 1950) was a white Italian-American who is best known for her stage persona of Aunt Jemima. She performed on both stage and screen and always in blackface. ... For other men named Robert Bennett, see Robert Bennett (disambiguation). ... Italian born composer and conductor Victor Baravalle (1885 - 1939) first came to prominence when he conducted the orchestra in the first Broadway production of ‘Show Boat’ in 1927, a task he repeated both for the sound prologue in the 1929 part-talkie, and again for the entire score in the...


Racism and Controversy

Integration

Show Boat boldly portrayed racial difficulties, and for a 1927 show it was quite progressive in doing so. It was the first racially integrated musical, in that both black and white performers appeared on stage together.[6] Ziegfeld’s Follies allowed single African American performers like Bert Williams, but would never have had an African-American woman in the chorus. However, Showboat had two choruses — a black chorus and a white chorus, and it has been perceived that "Hammerstein uses the African-American chorus as essentially a Greek chorus, providing clear commentary on the proceedings, whereas the white choruses sing of the not-quite-real".[7] Children at a parade in North College Hill, Ohio Racial integration, or simply integration includes desegregation (the process of ending systematic racial segregation). ... 1928 Time cover featuring Ziegfeld Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. ... The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Bert Williams (November 12, 1874 – March 4, 1922) was the pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time. ... In tragic plays of ancient Greece, the chorus (choros) is believed to have grown out of the Greek dithyrambs and tragikon drama. ...


Show Boat was also the first musical to depict an interracial marriage, as in Edna Ferber's original novel, and to feature a character of mixed blood who was "passing" for white. The musical comedy Whoopee!, starring Eddie Cantor, supposedly had also depicted an interracial romance - this one being between a Native American man and a white woman. Whoopee!, however, took the easy (and some would say offensive) way out by having the Native American character turn out to be white after all. Show Boat looked at the situation unflinchingly, and even had its mixed race character, Julie, make an unfortunate decision in eventually becoming an alcoholic. Whoopee! is a Broadway musical comedy which debuted on 4 December 1928. ... One of 12 Eddie Cantor caricatures by Frederick J. Garner for a 1933 Brown & Bigelow advertising card set. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ...


However, some assert that the simple fact that Show Boat contains numbers with blacks and whites on stage singing together does not mean it deserves to be credited as the "first racially integrated musical". According to a theatre studies graduate student at Cornell University, Serge Sudeikins poster for the Bat Theatre (1922). ... Cornell redirects here. ...

Historians of American musical theater usually describe Show Boat as the first "integrated" musical without considering its complicated politics of race. Such assessments privilege Show Boat’s book and score while failing to situate these scenes and songs in theatrical performance or within the wider culture of the United States in 1927. When read in the context of its original Broadway production and reception, Show Boat raises the question of whether its integration – of book and numbers, of black and white characters and actors – can function apart from its politics and theatrics of segregation... the musical numbers in which black and white characters dance and sing in unison or in harmony, or those in which the performance of individual black characters (Julie, Joe, and Queenie) complicates cross-racial relationships and forms raced audiences. At the same time, the numbers limit the possibilities for black characters by denying them interiority and deploying them as spectacle for the sensory experience of the audience. Ultimately, Ziegfeld’s Show Boat thrives in memory on a myth of integration, gesturing toward exploding the integration/segregation dichotomy while cooperating in the racist politics that informs it. [8]

It was not until 1947's Finian's Rainbow that a Broadway musical was truly racially integrated.[9] Finians Rainbow is a musical with a book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg, and music by Burton Lane. ...


Language and Stereotypes

The show has also come under much attack, primarily because of the use of the word nigger in the lyrics in the first scene, in addition to the historical portrayal of blacks serving as passive laborers and servants. The show opened with the black chorus trudging onstage and singing: // Nigger is a racial slur used to refer to dark-skinned people, especially those of African ancestry. ...

Niggers all work on the Mississippi.
Niggers all work while the white folks play —
Loadin' up boats wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day.[10]

In subsequent productions, "nigger" has been changed to "colored folk," to "darkies" and in one choice, "Here we all," as in "Here we all work on the Mississippi. Here we all work while the white folk play." In the 1966 Lincoln Center production of the show, produced during the height of the Civil Rights struggle, this section of the opening chorus was completely omitted rather than simply having the lyric changed. The 1988 CD for EMI restored the original lyric, while the Harold Prince revival chose "colored folk". The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Hal Prince (born January 30, 1928), full name Harold Smith Prince, is a theatre producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical (and less notably, dramatic) productions of the past half-century. ...


Despite these objections, however, others believe that the song was written by Kern and Hammerstein to give a sympathetic voice to an oppressed people through the ironic use of a word often used derogatorily against them and that the word was used to dramatically alert the audience to the realities of racism:

'Show Boat begins with the singing of that most reprehensible word – nigger – yet this is no coon song... [it] immediately establishes race as one of the central themes of the play. This is a protest song, more ironic than angry perhaps, but a protest nonetheless. In the singers' hands, the word nigger has a sardonic tone... in the very opening, Hammerstein has established the gulf between the races, the privilege accorded the white folks and denied the black, and a flavor of the contempt built into the very language that whites used about African-Americans. This is a very effective scene.... These are not caricature roles; they are wise, if uneducated, people capable of seeing and feeling more than some of the white folk around them.[11] Sheet music to Coon Coon Coon, which bills itself as The Most Successful Song Hit of 1901. ...

The racial situations in the play provoke thoughts of how hard it must have been to be black in the South. In the dialogue, some of the blacks are called "niggers" by the white characters in the story. (Contrary to what is sometimes thought, black slavery is not depicted in the play; slavery was abolished in 1863 and the story runs from the 1880s to the late 1920s.) At first, it is shocking to believe they are allowed to use a word that negative at all in a play... But in the context in which it is used, it is appropriate due to the impact it makes. It reinforces how much of a derogatory term "nigger" was then and still is today.[12]

Those that consider Show Boat racially insensitive also often note that the dialogue and lyrics of the black characters (especially the stevedore Joe and his wife Queenie) and choruses use various forms of African American Vernacular English. An effective example of this is shown in the following text: Stevedores on a New York dock loading barrels of corn syrup onto a barge on the Hudson River. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

Hey!
Where yo' think you're goin'?
Don't yo' know dis show is startin' soon?
Hey!
Jes' a few seats left yere!
It's light inside an' outside dere's no moon
What fo' you gals dressed up dicty?
Where's yo' all gwine?
Tell dose stingy men o' yourn
To step up here in line! [13]

Many critics would either respond that such language is not an accurate reflection of the vernacular of blacks in Mississippi at the time, or that it is in fact linguistically correct but that the overall effect of its usage, especially in light of prejudiced historically-white audiences in past productions, results in a potentially harmful racial stereotype.


Indeed, the character Queenie (who sings the above verses) was in the original production played not by an African-American but rather by the Italian-American actress Tess Gardella in blackface (Gardella was perhaps most well-known for portraying Aunt Jemima in blackface).[14] In addition, some believe that the attempts of non-black writers to imitate black language stereotypically in songs like "Ol' Man River" and allege authenticity is offensive, a claim that was repeated eight years later by evaluators of Porgy and Bess. Language(s) American English, Italian, Sicilian, Neapolitan, other (predominantly southern) Italian dialects and languages of Italian historical minorities Religion(s) Roman Catholic An Italian American is an American of Italian descent. ... Tess Gardella (1897 - January 3, 1950) was a white Italian-American who is best known for her stage persona of Aunt Jemima. She performed on both stage and screen and always in blackface. ... This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co. ... Aunt Jemima is a trademark for pancake flour, syrup, and other breakfast foods. ... Ol Man River (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that tells the story of African American hardship and struggles of the time. ... The cast of Porgy and Bess during the Boston try-out prior to the Broadway opening. ...

"Ol' Man River" is not a Negro spiritual. It's a show tune cooked up in 1927 by a couple of middle-class honkies who needed something for a spot in the first act. Yes, Oscar Hammerstein's lyric is full of "dat" and "dese" (obviously, he was self-taught at Ebonics)... Hammerstein's is an unobtrusive craft, an artless art.[15]

However, even many of those who denounce the stereotyping of blacks and black language admit that the intentions of Hammerstein were noble, since "'Ol' Man River' was the song in which he first found his lyrical voice, compressing the suffering, resignation, and anger of an entire race into 24 taut lines and doing it so naturally that it's no wonder folks assume the song's a Negro spiritual".[16]


Many writers have also conceded that the novel contains caricatures of blacks, but believe that they were used by the author to scrutinize and criticize racism in the United States, since "cringe-worthy caricatures like Show Boat 's 'black men...with rolling eyes and great lips' exist alongside some very thoughtful explorations of American racism, including Show Boat 's sympathetic treatment of a mixed-race couple".[17] For example, the theatre critics and veterans Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright believe that Show Boat was revolutionary, not only because it was a radical departure from the previous style of plotless revues, but because it was a show written by non-blacks that portrayed blacks sympathetically rather than condescendingly: Caricature of Alan Greenspan by Jan Op De Beeck. ... Sir Richard Eyre, (born 28 March 1943), is a British film and theatre director. ... A revue is a theatrical entertainment based around music with dancing and sketches or skits either on contemporary news or the venue or base of the theatre company concerned, such as college or medical school. ...

Instead of a line of chorus girls showing their legs in the opening number singing that they were happy, happy, happy, the curtain rose on black dock-hands lifting bales of cotton, and singing about the hardness of their lives. Here was a musical that showed poverty, suffering, bitterness, racial prejudice, a sexual relationship between black and white, a love story which ended unhappily — and of course show business. In "Ol' Man River" the black race was given an anthem to honor its misery that had the authority of an authentic spiritual.[18]

Revisions and cancellations

Since the musical's 1927 premiere, Show Boat has both been condemned as a prejudiced show based on racial caricatures and championed as a breakthrough work that opened the door for public discourse in the arts about racism in America. In some occasions, productions (including one planned for June 2002 in Connecticut) have been cancelled because of objections.[19] Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[3] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[2] Area  Ranked 48th  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ...


However, such cancellations occasionally were met with negative reaction by supporters of the arts. After planned performances by an opera company in Middlesbrough, England were "stopped because [they] would be 'distasteful' to ethnic minorities", a local newspaper declared that the actions were "surely taking political correctness too far".[20] A British theatre writer was concerned that The performing arts are those forms of art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artists own body, face and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... Middlesborough redirects here. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...

the kind of censorship we've been talking about — for censorship it is — actually militates against a truly integrated society, for it emphasises differences. It puts a wall around groups within society, dividing people by creating metaphorical ghettos, and prevents mutual understanding.[21]

In addition, as attitudes toward race relations changed in later years, producers and directors often altered some content in order to make the musical more politically correct: Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ...

...Show Boat, more than many musicals, was subject to cuts and revisions within a handful of years after its first performance, all of which altered the dramatic balance of the play... [22]

1993 Revival

The 1993 Hal Prince revival, originating in Toronto, brought racial matters into focus. Throughout the production African-Americans constantly cleaned up the mess, moved the sets (even when hydraulics actually moved them), with their presence constantly commenting on the racial disparities.[23] After a New Year's Eve ball, all the streamers fell on the floor and we saw African Americans busy sweeping them away. A montage in the second act showed time passing with the revolving door of the Palmer House in Chicago, and headlines going by in quick motion and then little snippets of slow motion to highlight a specific moment. African American dancers portrayed street dancers doing a dance and then time would pass and the fashionable white dancers had taken the dance. Table of Hydraulics and Hydrostatics, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Hallway in the Palmer House Hilton The Palmer House Hilton is a famous and historic hotel in downtown Chicago. ...


During the production's stay in Toronto, many black community leaders and their supporters launched a massive opposition to the show, often mobilizing "black hecklers shouting insults and waving placards reading SHOW BOAT SPREADS LIES AND HATE and SHOW BOAT = CULTURAL GENOCIDE" in front of the theatre.[24] Some sympathetic to the cause of those against the production also thought that it was ironic that a supposedly anti-black show was receiving attention and support while the actual black community in Toronto was facing economic and social problems, and that

[the] conclusion that the protest was "misguided" reveals [the] total lack of understanding of the social and political cleavages in North York. It suggests that those blacks protesting Show Boat are wasting their time, when they should be engaged in more pressing struggles for equality in education, employment and housing. The fact is these people are working toward those goals every day. The protesters are trustees, teachers, lawyers, social service workers, and, dare I say it, leaders in their community.[25]

However, while Hal Prince's production of Show Boat was met by a storm of criticism in Toronto, various theatre critics in New York felt that Prince highlighted racial inequality in his production not to support it but rather to show its injustice, as well as the historical suffering of blacks. One way that this was done was For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ...

the inclusion of an absolutely beautiful piece of music cut from the original production and from the movie ["Mis'ry's Comin' Round"]... a haunting gospel melody sung by the black chorus. The addition of this number is so successful because it salutes the dignity and the pure talent of the black workers and allows them to shine for a brief moment on the center stage of the showboat.[26]

Furthermore, during the 1993 Toronto protests, other observers decried the show's opponents for their own prejudices and racist attitudes, for many had supposedly stated that they viewed the show as a Jewish attempt to bring down blacks (both Kern and Hal Prince were Jewish New Yorkers, and to many it seemed apparent that by labeling ethnic groups as racist, the protesters were guilty of the very thing that they were complaining about.[27] The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination...


Analysis

Many commentators, both black and non-black, view the show as an outdated and stereotypical commentary on race relations that portrays blacks in a negative or inferior position. Douglass K. Daniel of Kansas State University has commented that it is a "racially flawed story",[28] and the African-Canadian writer M. Nourbese Philip claims that Kansas State University, officially called Kansas State University of Fashion and Design [2] but commonly shortened to K-State, is an institution of higher learning located in Manhattan, Kansas, in the United States. ... Black Canadian is a term used to identify a Canadian of African descent. ...

The affront at the heart of Show Boat is still very alive today. It begins with the book and its negative and one-dimensional images of Black people, and continues on through the colossal and deliberate omission of the Black experience, including the pain of a people traumatized by four centuries of attempted genocide and exploitation. Not to mention the appropriation of Black music for the profit of the very people who oppressed Blacks and Africans. All this continues to offend deeply. The 'ol' man river of racism continues to run through the history of these productions and is very much part of this (Toronto) production. It is part of the overwhelming need of white Americans and white Canadians to convince themselves of our inferiority — that our demands don't represent a challenge to them, their privilege and their superiority.[29]

In general, many of the artistic and social supporters of the musical believe that the depictions of racism should be regarded not as stereotyping blacks but rather satirizing the common national attitudes that both held those stereotypes and reinforced them through discrimination. In other words, just as quoting an out-of-context line from a play and claiming that it is the view of the playwright is absurd and deceptive, in the view of many of Show Boat's defenders, the fact that a dramatic or literary work portrays racist attitudes and institutions does not mean that it endorses them — in the words of The New Yorker theatre critic John Lahr, "describing racism doesn't make Show Boat racist. The production is meticulous in honoring the influence of black culture not just in the making of the nation's wealth but, through music, in the making of its modern spirit." [30] 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... For other uses, see New Yorker. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... John Lahr is an American theater critic and the son of actor Bert Lahr. ...


In addition, theatre history shows that leading Broadway writers had long used the musical as a medium to call for tolerance and racial harmony, such as in Finian's Rainbow and by Hammerstein himself in South Pacific. Those who attempt to understand works like Show Boat and Porgy and Bess through the eyes of their creators usually comprehend that the show Finians Rainbow is a musical with a book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg, and music by Burton Lane. ... This article is about the stage musical. ... The cast of Porgy and Bess during the Boston try-out prior to the Broadway opening. ...

was a statement AGAINST racism. That was the point of Edna Ferber's novel. That was the point of the show. That's how Oscar wrote it.... I think this is about as far from racism as you can get.[31]

Perhaps the strongest foundational argument in defense of Show Boat lies in an understanding of the socially concerned intentions, aims, and backgrounds of its authors. According to Rabbi Alan Berg, Kern and Hammerstein's score to Show Boat is "a tremendous expression of the ethics of tolerance and compassion."[32] As Harold Prince (not Kern, to whom the quote has been mistakenly attributed) states in the original production notes to his 1993 production of the show:

Throughout pre-production and rehearsal, I was committed to eliminate any inadvertent stereotype in the original material, dialogue which may seem "Uncle Tom" today... However, I was determined not to rewrite history. The fact that during the 45-year period depicted in our musical there were lynchings, imprisonment, and forced labor of the blacks in the United States is irrefutable. Indeed, the United States still cannot hold its head high with regard to racism.[33]

Oscar Hammerstein's commitment to idealizing and encouraging tolerance theatrically started with his libretto to Show Boat and can be seen clearly in his later works, many of which were written by Richard Rodgers. For example, Oklahoma! included a subplot regarding the community's debate over whether to accept a Persian and its treatment of a victimized man seen as representing blacks.[34] Carmen Jones is an attempt to present a modern version of the classic French opera through the experiences of African-Americans during wartime, and South Pacific explores interracial marriage and prejudice. Finally, The King and I deals with different cultures' preconceived notions regarding each other and the possibility for cultural inclusiveness in societies. This article is about the American composer. ... Oklahoma! was the first musical play written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (see Rodgers and Hammerstein). ... This article is about the Persian people, an ethnic group found mainly in Iran. ... Carmen Jones was a 1943 Broadway musical, later also performed a 1954 musical film; the play also ran for a season in 1991 at Londons Old Vic and most recently in Londons Royal Festival Hall in the South Bank Centre in 2007[1]. It is an updating of... For other uses, see Carmen (disambiguation). ... African American History or Black American History, a history of American blacks or Black Americans in the United States from their arrival in the Americas in the 16th century until the present day. ... This article is about the stage musical. ... Othello and Desdemona from William Shakespeares Othello, a play often depicted as concerning a biracial couple. ... The King and I is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with a script based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. ...


Regarding the original author of Show Boat, Ann Shapiro states that

Edna Ferber was taunted for being Jewish; as a young woman eager to launch her career as a journalist, she was told that the Chicago Tribune did not hire women reporters. Despite her experience of antisemitism and sexism, she idealized America, creating in her novels an American myth where strong women and downtrodden men of any race prevail... [Show Boat] create[s] visions of racial harmony... in a fictional world that purported to be America but was more illusion than reality. Characters in Ferber's novels achieve assimilation and acceptance that was periodically denied Ferber herself throughout her life.[35] // The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois and owned by the Tribune Company. ...

Whether or not the show is racist itself, many contend that it is important to continue to be produced today because it serves as a history lesson of American race relations. According to African-American opera singer Phillip Lamar Boykin, who played the role of Joe in a 2000 tour,

Whenever a show deals with race issues, it gives the audience sweaty palms. I agree with putting it on the stage and making the audience think about it. We see where we came from so we don't repeat it, though we still have a long way to go. A lot of history would disappear if the show was put away forever. An artist must be true to an era. I'm happy with it.[36]

Trivia

The name of Magnolia's daughter, "Kim", derives from the fact that she was born at the exact moment that the Cotton Blossom was at the convergence of the states of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. Ferber herself, in the book, calls the sound of the name "uneuphonious". The name did not become a popular name for American children for more than three decades after the publishing of the book. Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St Louis[1] Area  Ranked 21st  - Total 69,709 sq mi (180,693 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 300 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ...


The idea for the novel was derived from Edna Ferber's own experiences aboard a showboat on the Pamlico River and Great Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina called the James Addams Floating Theatre. These experiences themselves were touched off when a business acquaintance of Ferber's said, during a party after the premiere of Ferber's Old Man Minick, that the next time he was involved in a play, he would not waste time on off-Broadway tryouts but would instead rent a showboat on which to test the show. Ferber was then interested in showboats and did a great deal of research on them. Edna Ferber (August 15, 1885 - April 16, 1968), was an American novelist, author and playwright. ... History Located in the city of Washington, North Carolina, the Pamlico River was a key strategic position during the American Civil War. ... The Great Dismal Swamp is located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina in the United States on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Largest metro area Charlotte metro area Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ...


Notable recordings

  • The 1928 original London cast album, released in England on 78rpm records years before being sold in the United States. Because the U.S. had not yet begun making original cast albums of Broadway shows, it led to the unusual situation of there being an original London cast album of Show Boat but not of the 1927 Broadway cast. The cast on this album included Edith Day, Howett Worster, Marie Burke and Alberta Hunter. Baritone Norris Smith replaced Paul Robeson as Joe on the official release of this album. Robeson did record Ol' Man River with its original orchestration and vocal arrangement for the album, and it was later released. This rendition later turned up on the EMI CD Paul Robeson Sings 'Ol' Man River' and Other Favorites.
  • The 1932 studio cast recording on 78rpm by Brunswick Records, later re-released by Columbia Records on 78rpm, 33 1/3rpm and briefly on CD. This version featured Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, James Melton, Frank Munn, and Countess Olga Albani, and was issued in conjunction with the 1932 revival of the show, although it was not strictly an "original cast" album of that revival. The orchestra was conducted by Victor Young.
  • The 1946 cast recording. Issued on 78rpm, LP and CD, all by Columbia Records. This was the first American "original cast" recording of Show Boat, although it was of the 1946 cast, not the 1927 one. Jan Clayton, Carol Bruce, Charles Fredericks, Kenneth Spencer and Colette Lyons were featured.
  • The 1951 MGM Records soundtrack album, the first movie soundtrack album of Show Boat ever issued, with cast members of the 1951 film version. Appeared both on 45rpm and 33 1/3rpm, later on CD in a much expanded edition.
  • A 1956 RCA Victor studio cast album conducted by Lehman Engel, featuring more of the score on one LP than had ever been recorded. It did not, however, feature a black singer as Joe, but instead gave the role to Robert Merrill, who also sang Gaylord Ravenal's songs. Other singers on the album included Patrice Munsel (who probably would have played Julie in a stage production) as Magnolia, and a somewhat miscast Rise Stevens as Julie. Still unavailable on CD.
  • Another studio cast album made in 1958, - the first Show Boat ever made in stereo. This offering, once again from RCA Victor, starred only three singers - Howard Keel (like Robert Merrill, singing Ol' Man River as well as Gaylord Ravenal's songs), Anne Jeffreys, and Gogi Grant (who had previously dubbed Ann Blyth's singing in the film The Helen Morgan Story). Also unavailable on CD.
  • The 1962 studio cast album, starring Barbara Cook, John Raitt, Anita Darian and William Warfield, released by Columbia. The first stereo album of Show Boat that made a serious attempt to recreate the show. Later issued on CD.
  • The 1971 London cast album. A recording of a highly successful revival, featuring Cleo Laine, Lorna Dallas, Andre Jobin and bass-baritone Thomas Carey. This was the first 2-LP album of Show Boat, and included much more of the score than had ever been put on records, although in completely different orchestral arrangements. Issued later on CD, but out of print as of 2007.
  • The 1988 EMI studio cast album, a three-CD set which, for the first time, contained literally the entire score of the show, with all of its authentic 1927 orchestrations and vocal arrangements heard for the first time on a recording. The most highly acclaimed album of Show Boat ever made, with Frederica von Stade, Jerry Hadley, Teresa Stratas and Bruce Hubbard.
  • The 1994 recording of the acclaimed 1993 revival, starring Rebecca Luker, Mark Jacoby, Lonette McKee and Michel Bell (as Joe) ; despite the fact that this is a relatively recent recording, it is a now very difficult-to-find album because of the bankruptcy of the Livent company, which originally presented the revival in Canada.

There have been many other studio cast recordings of Show Boat in addition to those mentioned above - too many to list here. The soundtrack of the 1936 film version has appeared on a so-called "bootleg" label called Xeno, but has so far not had an official release on CD. Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... A cast recording or original cast recording is a recording of a musical that is intended to document the songs as they were performed in the show and experienced by the audience. ... Edith Day recorded the 1920 song Alice Blue Gown. ... Alberta Hunter (April 1, 1895 - October 17, 1984), was a celebrated African-American jazz singer, songwriter and nurse. ... For other uses, see EMI (disambiguation). ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit České Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s... The term studio recording means any recording made in a studio. ... The Brunswick Records logo Brunswick Records is a United States based record label. ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... James Melton (b. ... Victor Young (August 8, 1900 - November 10, 1956) was an Jewish-American composer, violinist and conducter. ... Jan Clayton (b. ... Carol Bruce (born November 15, 1919 in Great Neck, New York) is a character actress. ... MGM Records was a record label started by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio in 1946. ... A soundtrack album is any album that incorporates music from a particular feature film. ... Sony BMG Music Entertainment is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (part of Sony) and BMG Entertainment (part of Bertelsmann AG) completed in August 2004. ... Lehman Engel (born September 14, 1910, Jackson, Mississippi; died August 29, 1982, New York City) was an American composer and conductor of plays, television, and film. ... Robert Merrill (June 4, 1917 – October 23, 2004) was an American opera baritone. ... Patrice Munsel (born May 14, 1925) is an American coloratura soprano, the youngest singer who ever starred at the Metropolitan Opera, nicknamed Princess Pat. She was born in Spokane, Washington. ... Rise Stevens was considered the supreme Soprano at the New York Metropolitin Opera for two decades Rise Stevens is a performer born in New York City in 1913, and studied at New York’s Juilliard School of Music for three years. ... Anne Jeffreys (born January 26, 1923 in Goldsboro, North Carolina) is an American actress and singer. ... Gogi Grant (born Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg, September 20, 1924) was an American popular singer. ... Ann Blyth Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928 in Mount Kisco, New York) is an American actress and singer, most often cast in Hollywood musicals, but who also succeeded in the dramatic roles she was given. ... Barbara Cook (born October 25, 1927) is a Tony Award-winning American singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s after creating roles in the Broadway musicals Candide and The Music Man, among others. ... John Emmett Raitt (January 19, 1917, Santa Ana, California, USA - February 20, 2005, Pacific Palisades, California) was a star of the musical theater stage. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Constance Towers (b. ... Stephen Douglass (1921- ) Stephen Douglass was born as Stephen Fitch in Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA on 27 September 1921. ... Dame Cleo Laine, Lady Dankworth DBE, (born Clementina Dinah Campbell on October 28, 1927 in Middlesex, England) is a scat and jazz singer and an actor. ... Frederica von Stade (b. ... Jerry Hadley (June 16, 1952 – July 18, 2007) was an American operatic tenor, who was a protegé of famous soprano Dame Joan Sutherland and her husband, conductor Richard Bonynge. ... Teresa Stratas (b. ... Bruce Hubbard (1952-1991) was an African-American operatic baritone, whose life was unfortunately cut short by pneumonia just when he seemed to be on the verge of international stardom. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Rebecca Luker is an American musical theatre actress and soprano who has appeared in several prominent Broadway productions. ... Mark Jacoby Mark Jacoby (born May 21, 1947 in Johnson City, Tennessee, USA) is a Broadway performer. ... Lonette McKee (born July 22, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan) is an African-American television and film actress. ... - A Man In (Talk | Contribs) 15:13, 26 September 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ...


Notes

  1. ^  Vancheri, Barbara (August 23, 1998). "'Show Boat' continues successful voyage". Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 6, 2006.
  2. ^  Kreuger, Miles (1977). Show Boat: The Story of a Classic American Musical. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 226–227.
  3. ^  Ibid.
  4. ^  See note 1.
  5. ^  See note 2.
  6. ^  Despite its technical correctness, that Show Boat deserves this title has been disputed by some. See note #5 and corresponding text.
  7. ^  Keeling, Richard (a.k.a. musickna) (December 8, 2005). Music — "Show Boat". Blogger.com. Retrieved January 2, 2006.
  8. ^  Holmes, Brian (2003). "Color by Numbers: Show Boat as Segregated Musical". American Society for Theatre Research. Retrieved January 5, 2006.
  9. ^  Lane, John (2005). "John Lane's Notes on Music & Other Artistic Pleasures". Retrieved January 5, 2006.
  10. ^  Hammerstein, Oscar II (1927). Show Boat (Original Libretto — Book and Lyrics). In "Collection of Musicals Lyrics and Libretti". Number 2 (Act One, Scene One).
  11. ^  See note #4.
  12. ^  Cronin, Patricia (June 1997). "Timeless 'Show Boat' just keeps on rolling along". Retrieved January 5, 2006.
  13. ^  See note 7. Number 13 (Act One, Scene Five)
  14. ^  Tess Gardella. The Actresses of Italian Origin Notebook. Retrieved January 14, 2006.
  15. ^  Steyn, Mark (December 5, 1997). "Where Have You Gone, Oscar Hammerstein?". Slate. Retrieved January 5, 2006.
  16. ^  Ibid.
  17. ^  Wilson, Mollie (May 6, 2005). "So Big". Nextbook. Retrieved December 31, 2005.
  18. ^  Eyre, Richard; & Wright, Nicholas. Changing Stages: A View of British and American Theater in the Twentieth Century. Random House. Retrieved December 31, 2005.
  19. ^  Norvell, Scott; & S., Jon (March 18, 2002). "The Show Can't Go On". Fox News. Retrieved January 2, 2006.
  20. ^  Lathan, Peter (October 24, 1999). "A More Subtle Form of Censorship". The British Theatre Guide. Retrieved January 14, 2006.
  21. ^  Ibid.
  22. ^  See note #4.
  23. ^  Saviola, Gerard C. (April 1, 1997). "SHOW BOAT — Review of 1994 production". American Studies at University of Virginia. Retrieved January 5, 2006.
  24. ^  Henry, William A. III (Nov. 01, 1993). "Rough Sailing for a New Show Boat". TIME.
  25. ^  Anderson, Scott (Nov. 11, 1993). "SHOW COVERAGE IS MISSING THE BOAT". Eye.
  26. ^  See note #20.
  27. ^  Briggs, Joe Bob (May 7, 1993). Joe Bob Goes to the Drive In. The Joe Bob Report.
  28. ^  Daniel, Douglass K. "They Just Keep Rolling Along: Images of Blacks in Film Versions of Show Boat". Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Minorities and Communication Division. Retrieved December 31, 2005.
  29. ^  Philip, M. Nourbese (1993). Showing Grit: Showboating North of the 44th Parallel (2nd ed.). Out of print. pg. 59. Retrieved December 13, 2005.
  30. ^  Bows, Bob. "Show Boat". Coloradodrama.com. Retrieved February 2, 2006.
  31. ^  See note #24.
  32. ^  Laporte, Elaine (Feb. 9, 1996). Why do Jews sing the blues?. The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California.
  33. ^ 
  34. ^  Gomberg, Alan (February 16, 2004). Making Americans: Jews and the Broadway Musical — Book Review. What's New on the Rialto?. Retrieved January 6, 2006.
  35. ^  Shapiro, Ann R (2001). "Edna Ferber, Jewish American Feminist". Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 20, #2, pp. 52–60.
  36. ^  Shapiro, Margaret. "Facing The Music — A Revival Of 'Show Boat' Confronts The Production's Historical Racism". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2006.

Blogger is a blog publishing system. ... Slate is an online news and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley and owned by Microsoft (as part of MSN). ... “Fox News” redirects here. ... American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. ... The University of Virginia (also called U.Va. ... “TIME” redirects here. ... eye weekly is an alternative newsweekly newspaper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Joe Bob Briggs is a pseudonym and persona of John Irving Bloom (born January 27, 1953 in Dallas, Texas), a syndicated American film critic, writer and actor. ... Joe Bob Goes to the Drive In is the first book by John Bloom under the pen name Joe Bob Briggs. ... The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) is a major international membership organization for academics in the field, offering regional and national conferences and refereed publications. ... The Tucson Weekly is an alternative newsweekly that was founded in 1984 and serves a metropolitan area of nearly 900,000 residents. ...

References

  1. ^ Broadway.
  2. ^ Information about 1971 West End revival

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Carousel
Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical
1995
Succeeded by
The King and I

  Results from FactBites:
 
Show Boat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2797 words)
Show Boat is a musical with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II (with the notable exception of "Bill," the lyrics of which were written by P.
A local sheriff comes aboard and insists that the show not go on, because the star of the show, Julie, is a mulatto woman married to a white man, and local laws prohibit miscegenation.
The instrumentation for the show according to the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett is one flute (doubling as piccolo), one oboe (doubling as English horn), 2 clarinets, one bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, one trombone, percussion, one banjo, and strings.
Show Boat (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (635 words)
Show Boat the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber.
Show Boat was filmed in 1929 with a censored story line.
A significant but miniaturized rendition of the show has been included in the 1946 movie Till the Clouds Roll By, which tells a fictional story of Jerome Kern's life.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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