Houston Grand Opera's Show Boat, Staged by Francesca Zambello, Rolls Into Texas Jan. 18
By Adam Hetrick
The Houston Grand Opera production of the sweeping American musical Show Boat, starring Sasha Cooke, Joseph Kaiser and Broadway veteran Lara Teeter, begins performances Jan. 18 in Texas.
Francesca Zambello directs the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical that will run through Feb. 9. Zambello previously staged this production of Show Boat for the Lyric Opera of Chicago last winter. The original creative team has reunited for the Houston engagement.
The principal cast features Cooke as Magnolia Hawks, Kaiser as Gaylord Ravenal, Teeter as Cap'n Andy, Melody Moore as Julie La Verne, Morris Robinson as Joe, Marietta Simpson as Queenie, Cheryl Parrish as Parthy Ann Hawks and Houston philanthropist Lynn Wyatt in a cameo role as the Lady on the Levee.
Show Boat has set design by Peter Davison, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Mark McCullough and choreography by Michele Lynch.
Show Boat premiered in 1927. Covering more than 30 years in the lives of the people connected to the Mississippi River floating playhouse known as "Cotton Blossom," Show Boat is based on the novel by Edna Ferber. It introduced serious themes (racism, miscegenation, romantic delusion, addiction and more) in a time when most musicals were frivolous entertainments.
The show's musical numbers include "Make Believe," "Old Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine," "You Are Love" and more.
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