Vanessa Williams, Julian Ovenden and Lauren Worsham Will Star in New York Philharmonic Show Boat

The New York Philharmonic will present a semi-staged production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Tony Award-winning musical Show Boat Nov. 5–8.

Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Initial casting includes Tony nominee Vanessa Williams as Julie, Julian Ovenden as Gaylord Ravenal and Lauren Worsham as Magnolia, all in their Philharmonic debuts. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

The performances will be conducted and directed by Tony winner Ted Sperling.

Based on a best-selling novel by Edna Ferber, Show Boat, according to press notes, "tells the 40-year story of the lives of performers, stagehands, and dock workers who are the denizens of the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat." Highlights of the score include “Ol’ Man River,” “Make Believe” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.”

Broadway’s most-revived and revised work, Show Boat was the first musical ever performed by an opera company — by New York City Opera in 1954. Recent productions have garnered the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (1995) and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (1991).

Tickets for Show Boat start at $89. Tickets are available now through July 11 only to 2014–15 New York Philharmonic subscribers online at or by calling (212) 875-5656.

Tickets will become available to the general public July 14, at which time tickets may be purchased online at, by calling (212) 875-5656, or at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office.