A Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of Show Boat

Photo Features   A Look Back at the Original Broadway Production of Show Boat
 
Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern’s musical adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre December 27, 1927.
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Show Boat at the Ziegfeld Theatre White Studio/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

Show Boat, Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern’s musical adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre December 27, 1927. The groundbreaking musical examines the lives of Cap'n Andy and his troupe of traveling show boat performers, including his naïve daughter Magnolia, her gambling husband Gaylord Ravenal, the tragic mixed-race actor Julie, and black stevedore Joe, who marvels at the constancy of the "Ol' Man River" they travel on.

Staged by Hammerstein II and Zeke Colvan with choreography by Sammy Lee, the production played 572 performances before closing in 1929. Show Boat has seen been revived numerous times on Broadway, with the latest production playing the Gershwin Theatre from 1994 to 1997, starring Rebecca Luker and Elaine Stritch.

Flip through photos of the original production below:

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