Show Boat To Open At The New London Theatre April 2016
| By Jacob Porteous
Having recently completed its run at the Sheffield Crucible, Show Boat opens at the New London Theatre on 9th April 2016. The Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern musical will be directed by Daniel Evans.
Showboat tickets on sale soon.
Reprising their performances for the musical's West End transfer will be Gina Beck (Wicked/Les Miserables) as Magnolia Hawks, Rebecca Trehearn (City Of Angels/Ghost) as Julie and Emmanuel Kojo (Scottsboro Boys) as Joe.
Further casting to be announced.
Magnolia: I never complained. I've lived like this half the time - washing clothes, cooking food over a gas jet, but I loved him. And if all that came with him, I was willing to take care of it. I thought he knew that.
Perhaps the most influential musical of the twentieth century, Show Boat combined the talents of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, both of whom had felt for some time that Broadway musical theatre was suffering from a lack of depth and needed to steer away from the fluffy musical comedies and melodramatic operetta that it was accustomed to. After choosing for their subject Edna Ferber's sprawling novel of life on the Mississippi, Kern and Hammerstein set out to deal with issues such as unhappy marriages and racial prejudice.
The story, which spans almost fifty years, deals primarily with the fortunes of an impressionable young woman named Magnolia Hawks, her father who owns a show boat named the Cotton Blossom, and a troubled riverboat gambler/actor named Gaylord Ravenal. Magnolia and Gaylord fall in love while acting on the showboat and eventually marry and move to Chicago. They separate, however, after Gaylord loses all of their money gambling. The subplot involves Magnolia's mulatto friend, the tragic Julie La Verne.
Show Boat opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927 and ran for 572 performances. It has been revived numerous times--most successfully by Hal Prince in 1994--and spawned several film versions including the 1936 film with Irene Dunne and the 1951 version with Ava Gardner and Howard Keel. The original cast included Charles Winninger, Norma Terris, Howard Marsh and Helen Morgan.