Show Boat, often considered the first true musical, opened the Sacramento Music Circus' first season in 1951 and now, fifty years later, the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical will close the season. Starring TV's Alan Young, Richard White, Dale Kristien and Marcia Mitzman Gavin, Show Boat plays under the tent Aug. 20-26.
Show Boat is a panoramic story, covering forty years of life on the Mississippi River. Set in and around the Cotton Blossom show boat, the musical brings together gambler Gaylord Ravenal and the daughter of the ship's captain Magnolia Hawkes, while the mixed race singer Julie is forced to flee because of her color. Years pass and relationships and lives fall apart, but the Cotton Blossom goes on, even as the times change around her. Songs in the score include "Ol' Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine," "Mis'ry's comin' Aroun',"Life Upon the Wicked Stage" and "You Are Love."
Young, who plays the Cotton Blossom's Cap'n Andy is best remebered as "Mr. Ed"'s human companion, Wilbur. White, who plays Ravenal, created the title role in Maury Yeston's Phantom, while Kristien (Magnolia) played Christine over 1,700 times in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Mitzman Gavin, who will play Julie, was Tony nominated as Mrs. Walker in The Who's Tommy and starred as Mother in the Los Angeles company of Ragtime.
Tickets are $27-$45. The Music Circus Tent is located on the corner of 15th and H Streets in downtown Sacramento. For reservations, call (916) 557-1999. The Sacramento Music Circus is online at http://www.CaliforniaMusicalTheatre.com.
— By Christine Ehren