Show Boat

2 hr 24 min | Musicals, Must See, Broadway Classics | 2015

An iconic piece of American theater with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and P.G. Wodehouse, Show Boat stands as an archetypical representation of a time and place in America that the audiences of today must put into proper perspective. It was groundbreaking when it premiered in 1927 because it straddled the cusp between music hall and a new American musical theater. It was not a traditional operetta, but rather a dramatic musical event that explored race, class, and privilege. Bold for its time, it was the first musical stage production with an interracial (yet segregated) cast with Black performers in leading roles. The characterization of Blacks in Show Boat would not be appropriate in contemporary times, however, as we now understand the socio-political ramifications of living in a racialized society. Various stage productions and films of Show Boat since 1927 have attempted to address these issues, but are inherent in the work as originally written.

An iconic piece of American theater with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and P.G. Wodehouse, Show Boat stands as an archetypical representation of a time and place in America that the audiences of today must put into proper perspective. It was groundbreaking when it premiered in 1927 because it straddled the cusp between music hall and a new American musical theater. It was not a traditional operetta, but rather a dramatic musical event that explored race, class, and privilege. Bold for its time, it was the first musical stage production with an interracial (yet segregated) cast with Black performers in leading roles. The characterization of Blacks in Show Boat would not be appropriate in contemporary times, however, as we now understand the socio-political ramifications of living in a racialized society. Various stage productions and films of Show Boat since 1927 have attempted to address these issues, but are inherent in the work as originally written.

Details

Actor
Heidi Stober, Michael Todd Simpson, Bill Irwin, Patricia Racette, Morris Robinson, Angela Renee Simpson, Harriet Harris, Kirsten Wyatt, John Bolton
Director
Francesca Zambello
Executive Producer
David Gockley
lyricist
Oscar Hammerstein II
Writer
Oscar Hammerstein II, Edna Ferber
conductor
John DeMain