is a musical of two acts that was adapted from a novel of the same name that was written in the year 1926 by Edna Ferber. The book for the musical is written by acclaimed theater personality Oscar Hammerstein 11. The lyrics for Show Boat
were also written by Hammerstein. Oscar Hammerstein is one of the most respected named in the history of American Theater, he won eight Tony Awards as well as two Academy Awards. Hammerstein was man full of talent as he was a lyricist, director and producer. He partnered with Richard Rogers to produce some fine musicals like Flower Drum Song, South Pacific, Carousel, The King and I and South Pacific
. To write a novel Edna Ferber spent quite some time on a floating theater palace and gathered some good material for her book. She was later approached by Hammerstein as he wanted to convert Show Boat
into a musical which Ferber happily allowed. Showboat was produced by Florenz Ziegfeld who was a popular film and theater drama producer at that time. the preview of Show Boat
was done from mid November to mid December 1927 in three cities at Ohio Theater in Cleveland, Nixon theater in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and national theater in Washington.
finally was opened for theater fans on Broadway at December end in 1927, the Broadway venue was Ziegfeld Theater that was located on 54th
Street in Manhattan New York. This venue saw premiers of other popular musicals like Rio Rita, Kismet and Brigadoon
. Ziegfeld Theater was demolished in 1969. The story of Show Boat
is a tale of love, hatred, romance, success and failures. The story is very gripping from the very start, it kicks off on a Show Boat
called Cotton Blossom on which the main character Magnolia Hawks lives. The boat is owned by her family and it travels across Mississippi river. On boat she meets Gaylord who is a gambler, she falls in love with him they marry and move to Chicago. There Magnolia gives birth to a girl and after a few years one day Gaylord just leaves Magnolia without saying anything due to guilt as he lost a huge fortune in gambling. Magnolia has to bring up her daughter all by herself.
The other main character in Show Boat
is of Julie who is an African American leading actress and she performs on the Cotton Blossom. She is the best friend of Magnolia and has to abandon her show on the boat due to her ethnicity. Julie leaves the boat with her husband Steven Baker who too abandons her after some time leaving Julie in deep depression which makes her alcoholic. Julie works at a club and by chance meets her old friend Magnolia there, she helps her in getting a singing job there. Magnolia after a gap of a long time comes across Gaylord and her husband is happy to see that her daughter Kim has become a Broadway star and the family returns to live on the Show Boat
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