Directed by Glenn Casale, the Oscar Hammerstein II-Jerome Kern musical will begin previews at the Massachusetts venue Sept. 23 with an official opening scheduled for Sept. 25. The production will continue through Oct. 12.
The cast will be headed by Ron Bohmer as Gaylord Ravenal, Philip Lamar Boykin as Joe, Terry Burrell as Julie, Jim Walton as Frank and Teri Dale Hansen as Magnolia with Edwin Cahill as Steve, Melinda Cowan as Ellie, James Coyle as Windy, Audrie Neenan as Parthy Ann, Gordon Stanley as Cap'n Andy and Sharon Wilkins as Queenie.
The company will also feature Shari Adams (Ensemble), Allison Blackwell (Ensemble/Lady on the Levy), Corey Bradley (Ensemble), Heather Davis (Ensemble), Michelle Dyer (Ensemble), Jenny Florkowski (Ensemble), Regina Gatti (Ensemble), Karl Hudson (Ensemble), James Jackson, Jr. (Ensemble), Ian Laskowski (Ensemble), Christopher Lengerich (Ensemble/Jake), Will Mann (Ensemble), Erica Sweaney (Ensemble/Kim), Jet Thomason (Ensemble/Pete), Patryce Williams (Ensemble), John Williford (Ensemble), Natalie Wisdom (Ensemble/Dance Captain) and Ron Wisniski (Ensemble/Vallon/Jim/Backwoodsman).
In a statement North Shore artistic director Barry Ivan said, "Show Boat is one of the most influential musicals of the 20th century and is an opportunity for audiences to see an American masterpiece unfold in front of them. It contains the best that musical theatre has to offer – a great story, moving lyrics, timeless score, and topics that are still relevant in today's society."
Show Boat, according to press notes, "spans almost 50 years, starts in the 1890s and follows the lives and loves of the troupe that works aboard the Cotton Blossom, one of the many American riverboats that featured traveling shows. The Cotton Blossom is where dashing men and beautiful women go to be entertained, forget their troubles and fall in love, but under the surface there's a darker side of gambling, racial tension and heartache." The creative team also includes Ron Gibbs (choreographer, re-creating the Tony Award-winning choreography of Susan Stroman), Brian Cimmet (music director), Evan Bartoletti (scenic designer), Marty Vreeland (lighting designer), John A. Stone (sound designer), Gerard Kelly (wig & hair designer), and Brent Sawyer (assistant musical director).
Show Boat has music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is based on the novel by Edna Ferber. The original Broadway production opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Dec. 27, 1927. Harold Prince directed the most recent Broadway production of the musical, which opened in 1994.
The musical was the first to tackle such weighty issues as racial prejudice, poverty and abandonment. The show's songs include "Make Believe," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Bill" and "Ol' Man River."
For tickets visit www.nsmt.org or call (978) 232-7200. The North Shore Music Theatre is located at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA.