When Hal Prince's revival of Show Boat opened at the Gershwin Theatre Oct. 2, 1994, John McMartin starred as Cap'n Andy, the fun-loving ship captain fending off the barbs of his wife, Parthy, and keeping his riverboat rolling along.
After heading up the Chicago staging (opposite Dorothy Loudon) of the Kern/Hammerstein musical, John McMartin will return to the Broadway production Nov. 5 and stay with it until the New York run ends, Jan. 5, 1997. (Leaving the role on Nov.3 is John Cullum, best known as the lead in Shenandoah and for his role on TV's "Northern Exposure.") Original cast member Lonette McKee has also returned to the show, which co-stars Carole Shelley as Parthy, Hugh Panaro as Ravenal, and Sarah Pfisterer as Magnolia.
No stranger to Hal Prince productions, John McMartin has starred in The Visit, Love For Love and the Sondheim musical, Follies.. Other roles include his Tony-nominated performances in Sweet Charity and Don Juan. Winner of The Theatre World Award, McMartin received his third Tony nomination for his role in Show Boat.
Show Boat opened in Los Angeles, Nov. 17, starring Ned Beatty and Cloris Leachman as Andy and Parthy. They'll continue in L.A. to March 1997 and then take the company to Denver. The show is already playing open runs in Chicago and Minneapolis, and will add Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis to its North American tour for 1997-98.
-- By David Lefkowitz