9 PM: Highlights of Act I

News   9 PM: Highlights of Act I
 
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The opening scene of Titanic
The opening scene of Titanic Photo by Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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Based on audience reaction to the opening night performance of Titanic, here are some of the highlights of Act I:

* The 12-minute opening sequence, a gathering of seven songs collectively titled "The Launching," drew cheers. The favorite passage was titled "There She Is," in which startled passengers catching their first glimpse of the "floating city" express their amazement, and sing of their awe for this "ship of dreams" with a signature musical passage that jumps a major sixth and then a minor third.

* The show's first big laugh comes when Victoria Clark, as Alice Beane, points out all the celebrities and millionaires to her mortified husband, and she seems to know all their tabloid secrets.

* After the ship departs, a man arrives late and curses his luck for having missed the trip of a lifetime. * The dramatic conflict between the ship's owner, J. Bruce Ismay (David Garrison) as he waves aside shipboard protocol to invade the ships bridge and bully Captain E.J. Smith (John Cunningham) into pushing the ship harder, faster and farther north than he knows is best.

* The joyous "Lady's Maid," in which the poorest passengers, the Steerage class, share their fantasies of the wonderful things they will see and become when they arrive in America.

* In "The Proposal," one of the coal stokers (Brian d'Arcy James) uses the amazing new technology of the wireless radio to send a marriage proposal to his sweetheart back in Ireland, promising he'll return after the current trip to marry her.

* The lighthearted "Doing the Latest Rag," in which Mrs. Beane crashes the First Class salon and joins them in a dance number.

* The haunting "No Moon," in which the lookout in the crow's nest complains that sailing at night with no moon, he can't see anything. Then, in the next number, "Autumn," he chillingly shrieks "Mother of God!" as he spots the towering iceberg, too close to avoid.

* The final image of Act I, as a detailed model of the Titanic steams across a starlit sea, followed by a rending crash.

-- By Robert Viagas

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