By Ben Rimalower
22 Feb 2014
|Photo by Catherine Ashmore|
Show Boat directed by Harold Prince, 1994
Harold Prince can count a plethora of landmark productions among his achievements — and his 21 Tony Awards — but without a doubt, his mammoth, sweeping revival of Show Boat ranks high among them. Show Boat represents the epitome of the first generation of "serious" book musicals, out of which tradition Prince ultimately carved his own recipe for the future. It is fitting that he looked backwards and created this definitive version of the much-revised Show Boat for the ages. His gargantuan, yet seamless, production engaged its audience in the political and historical context for this story and dazzled with sublime performances of this nearly all-standards score by an ideal cast including Elaine Stritch, John McMartin, Rebecca Luker, Mark Jacoby, Michel Bell and an especially affecting Lonette McKee.Continued...