Setting sail after a 21-week run in Los Angeles, Livent's Tony Award winning production of Hal Prince's Show Boat has docked in Denver, where the $10 million revival runs at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Center for a limited engagement.
Starring in the Denver production as Parthy is Cloris Leachman, best remembered by T.V. audiences as "Phyllis." She also received an Oscar for her performance in The Last Picture Show, along with her six Emmy Awards. Len Cariou, who won the Tony Award for his original portrayal of Sweeney Todd, plays Capt'n Andy. Hugh Panaro, Teri Hansen, Anita Berry and Michel Bell (Joe) are the other leads. Bell played Joe since the original 1993 production.
Some local actors have also been cast. Five kids under the age of 10 from the Denver area were selected out of a pool of 80 who auditioned. Show Boat associate resident director, Steve Minning said of the youngsters, "They're important in that they help round out the on-stage community and kick-off one of Susan Stroman's great dance numbers."
The 90 member cast is part of the largest production to tour in recent history, including 500 costumes, 500 props, the "Cotton Blossom" floating theatre, wagons, cars, and more.
After Show Boat sails away from Denver, June 14, the show will dock at St. Louis MO's Fox Theatre, June 22-July 20, followed by the State Theatre in Cleveland, OH, Aug. 10-Sept. 14. Meanwhile, the second touring company of the Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein musical recently finished a stint in Detroit and opens in Boston June 3. That company, running at the Wang Centre through July 15, features Tom Bosley (Beauty And The Beast), Karen Morrow, John Ruess, Gretha Boston (Queenie), Sarah Pfisterer (Magnolia) and Andre Solomon-Glover (Joe). The last three all appeared in the Broadway production. The next stop after Boston for this tour will be Costa Mesa CA's Orange County Performing Arts Center, Aug. 26-Sept. 27.
Since good things come in threes, Show Boat has started up a third touring company, which began performances June 1 in Louisville, at the Kentucky Centre for the Arts. After leaving KY June 28, this Boat paddles its way to Houston's Jones Hall (July 6-Aug. 3) and Ottawa, Canada's National Arts Centre (Aug. 12-Sept. 13). This third tour features Pat Harrington and Anita Gillette as the Capt'n and Parthy, with Keith Butterbaugh, Jo Ann Hawkins White and Ken Nichols.
Show Boat, with music and lyrics by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, has begun preview performances, and officially opens April 23. For tickets or more information, please call (303) 893-4100, or (303) 830-TIXS.