17 Facts About Show Boat


Show Boat is a musical with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

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The premiere of Show Boat on Broadway was an important event in the history of American musical theatre.

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Quality of Show Boat was recognized immediately by critics, and it is frequently revived.

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Late 20th-century revivals of Show Boat have won both the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.

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Note: Although the basic plot of Show Boat has always remained the same, over the years revisions and alterations were made by the creators, and over time by subsequent producers and directors.

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Show Boat seeks advice from Joe, a black dock worker aboard the boat, who has returned from buying flour for his wife Queenie, the ship's cook.

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Show Boat has fallen into drinking after being abandoned by Steve.

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Show Boat was revived by Ziegfeld on Broadway in 1932 at the Casino Theatre with most of the original cast, but with Paul Robeson as Joe and Dennis King as Ravenal.

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Houston Grand Opera staged a revival of Show Boat that premiered at Jones Hall in Houston in June 1982 and then toured to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, and finally to the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway in 1983.

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Original London West End production of Show Boat opened May 3,1928, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and featured among the cast, Cedric Hardwicke as Capt.

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Show Boat has been adapted for film three times, and for television once.

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Show Boat boldly portrayed racial issues and was the first racially integrated musical, in that both black and white performers appeared and sang on stage together.

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Show Boat was structured with two choruses – a black chorus and a white chorus.

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Show Boat was the first Broadway musical to seriously depict an interracial marriage, as in Ferber's original novel, and to feature a character of mixed race who was "passing" for white.

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Show Boat has generated controversy for the subject matter of interracial marriage, the historical portrayal of blacks working as laborers and servants in the 19th-century South, and the use of the word niggers in the lyrics.

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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 by non-black writers that portrayed black people sympathetically rather than condescendingly:.

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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.

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