AN R&H THEATRICALS TITLE

Show Boat (Harold Prince Version)

Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Edna Ferber

Full Length Musical, Comedy

Music by Jerome Kern / Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II / Based on the novel by Edna Ferber

Spanning the years from 1880 to 1927, this lyrical masterpiece concerns the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk on the Mississippi, in Chicago and on Broadway (and their lifelong friends).
Show Boat (Harold Prince Version)
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OVERVIEW

  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! 1995 Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical
    Winner! 1995 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Musical
Description
Since its premiere in 1927, Show Boat has never stopped moving. For over seven decades this seminal musical has continued to evolve on a journey that has reflected the ongoing development of the lyric theatre, confirming its status as the pivotal work bridging operetta and contemporary musical theatre. After three film versions, numerous Broadway and London revivals, countless tours and recordings, legendary director Harold Prince took the helm for a new Broadway production in 1994 that instantly became the blockbuster hit of the season. With Oscar Hammerstein's eldest son William serving as advisor, Prince studied all previous versions of Show Boat and, with the celebrated choreographer Susan Stroman, developed a version of the classic that was hailed as a triumph by critics and audiences alike. This epic musical spans 40 years in the lives of three generations of show folk, following theirs loves and heartbreaks, their ambitions and disappointments along the Mississippi River and in Chicago.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910, 19th Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

Show Boat takes place between 1887 and 1927 along the Mississippi River and in Chicago.

Specific Locations
The Levee at Natchez on the Mississippi River
The Kitchen Pantry on the Cotton Blossom
A Riverfront Gambling Saloon in Natchez
The Auditorium and Stage on the Cotton Blossom
The Windows of Magnolia's and Ravenal's Cabins on the Cotton Blossom
The Box Office on the Cotton Blossom in Fort Adams
The Upper Deck of the Cotton Blossom
The Levee at Natchez Magnolia and Ravenal's Cabin on the Cotton Blossom
Outside the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago
A Room in a Chicago Boardinghouse
St. Agatha's Convent in Chicago
The Trocadero Nightclub in Chicago
Cast Attributes
  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
PRINCIPALS
5 Women
4 Men

FEATURED
Numerous Featured Roles

ENSEMBLE
African-American and Caucasian Singing-Dancing Ensembles consisting of Stevedores, their Gals, Children, Townspeople along the Mississippi, and City Folk in Chicago

CHARACTERS
Steve Baker - the leading man in the Show Boat Troupe
Queenie - the African-American cook on the Show Boat
Pete - the engineer on the Show Boat
Parthy Ann Hawkes - Cap'n Andy's wife
Windy - the pilot on the Show Boat
Cap'n Andy - the captain of the Show Boat
Ellie May Chipley - the soubrette in the Show Boat Troupe
Frank Schultz - Ellie's boyfriend, the villain in the Show Boat Troupe
Julie LaVerne - Steve's wife, the leading lady in the Show Boat Troupe, of mixed race
Gaylord Ravenal - a handsome gambler
Sherrif Vallon - of Natchez
Magnolia Hawkes - Parthy and Andy's daughter
Joe - Queenie's husband, an African-American stevedore
Card Dealer
Jeb - a backwoodsman
Another Backwoodsman
Young Kim - Magnolia and Ravenal's 10-year-old daughter
Ethel - a boardinghouse cleaning woman
Mrs. O'Brien - a boardinghouse landlady
Mother Superior - at St. Agatha's Convent
Jim Greene - the director of the floor show at the Trocadero Nightclub
Jake - the pianist at the Trocadero
Charlie - the doorman at the Trocadero
Lottie - an elegant lady of the evening
Dottie - her friend
A Drunk
A Radio Announcer
Kim
Old Lady on the Levee
Stevedores, their Gals, Children, Townspeople along the Mississippi, and City Folk in Chicago

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Operetta
  • Dance Requirements: Difficult
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Large
  • Chorus Size: Large

Act I

1. Overture - Orchestra
2. "Cotton Blossom" - Ensemble
3. "Only Make Believe" - Ravenal, Magnolia
4. "Ol' Man River" - Ravenal, Joe and Ensemble
5. "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" - Julie, Queenie, Joe, Magnolia and Ensemble
6. "Till Good Luck Comes My Way" - Ravenal and Male Ensemble
6a. Good Luck Playoff - Orchestra
7. "Misery" - Queenie and Ensemble
[There is no 7a or 7b]
7c. Miscegenation Underscore - Orchestra
8. "I Have The Room Above Her" - Ravenal and Magnolia
9. Cotton Blossom Underscore - Orchestra
10. "Life Upon The Wicked Stage" - Ellie and Female Ensemble
10a. Wicked Stage Playoff - Orchestra
11. "Queenie's Ballyhoo" - Queenie and Ensemble
12. Parson's Bride Underscore - Orchestra
12a. Underscore: I Might Fall Back  - Orchestra
13. "You Are Love" - Ravenal and Magnolia
14. Act I Finale: "The Wedding" - Company

Act II

15. Entr'acte - Orchestra
16. "Why Do I Love You?" - Ravenal, Magnolia and Ensemble
17. Montage 1: "Dandies On Parade" - Ensemble
18. Letter Underscore - Orchestra
19. "Alma Redemptoris"/"Ol' Man River"/"Make Believe" - Nuns/Joe/Ravenal
20. The Washington Post - Orchestra
21. "Bill" - Julie
22. "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (Reprise)" - Magnolia
23. Palm Court Music - Orchestra
24. Washington Post (Reprise) - Orchestra
25. "Good-Bye, My Lady Love" - Ellie and Frank
25a. Lady Love Playoff - Orchestra
25b. Underscore: I Still Suits Me - Orchestra
26. "After The Ball" - Magnolia, Andy and Ensemble
27. Montage 2: "Ol' Man River (Reprise)" - Joe
27a. "Dance Away The Night" - Magnolia
28. "You Are Love (Reprise)" - Ravenal
29. It's Getting Hotter in the North - Orchestra
30. "Kim's Charleston" - Kim, Parthy and Ensemble
30a. Show's Starting - Orchestra
31. Act II Finale: "Ol' Man River" - Joe and Company
32. Bows: "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" - Company
33. Exit Music - Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Reed I (Flute, Piccolo)
Reed II (Flute, Clarinet)
Reed III (Oboe, English Horn)
Reed IV (Clarinet)
Reed V (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet)
Reed VI (Bassoon, Tenor Sax)
Horn I&II
Trumpet I&II
Trombone
Trombone/Tuba
Piano/Synthesizer
Harp
Guitar/Banjo
Violin A-B-C
Viola A-B
Cello
Bass

Drums/Percussion
Trap Set
Suspended Cymbal
Crash Cymbal
Wood Blocks
Temple Blocks
2 Timpani
Glockenspiel
Xylophone
Chimes


ORCHESTRA NOTE: The scores and parts you will be using for your production of SHOW BOAT (Hal Prince Version) are photographic reproductions of the actual materials used in the orchestra pit for the 1992 revival of this version of the musical. The instrumental parts may be marked and/or edited by the original players. The piano-vocal score contains minimal orchestral cues. As such these materials have not yet been edited to our usual standards. There may be minor discrepancies between the scores and parts that have not yet been brought to our attention. However they are eminently readable and playable. Your musical director may want to refer to the full score (partitur), which is also available for rental. Please feel free to contact us should you discover anything in this edition that impedes your musical preparation of this remarkable version of this magnificent score.

Materials

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip


Full Package:

1 Full Score Act I Part I
1 Full Score Act I Part II
1 Full Score Act II Part I
1 Full Score Act II Part II
22 Libretto
23 Piano Vocal
1 Reed I
1 Reed II
1 Reed III
1 Reed IV
1 Reed V
1 Reed VI
2 Horn I&II
2 Trumpet I&II
1 Trombone
1 Trombone/Tuba
2 Drums/Percussion
1 Piano/Synthesizer
1 Harp
1 Guitar/Banjo
3 Violin A-B-C
2 Viola A-B
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack

Piano Only:

22 Libretto
23 Piano Vocal
1 Logo Pack

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Press

"Show Boat has become part of the American experience, part of our folklore, with Ol' Man River' occupying a permanent place in our collective unconcious." — The New Yorker
"Excellent ...perilously close to being the best New York has seen...an exceptionally tuneful score...every ingredient that the perfect musical should have." — The New York Times

"Show Boat dates from 1927 but...it's for the ages." — Chicago Tribune

"A jewel of the American theater...Featuring so many perfect scenes and songs that it is impossible to mention them all. Show Boat is the granddaddy of every great musical ever written!" — Los Angeles Times

"A masterpiece!...Show Boat is a great and richly entertaining musical." — Houston Chronicle

Videos

  • Hal Prince and Show Boat

  • "Ol' Man River"

  • Show Boat 1994 Broadway Revival

More videos +

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Authors

Jerome Kern

Jerome Kern (1885-1945) composed his first complete show, The Red Petticoat, in 1912. Between 1915 and 1919, he composed a series of intimate chamber musicals, mostly in collaboration with Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, known as the Princess Theatre shows. These works — Very Good Eddie; Oh, Boy!; Oh, Lady! Lady! ...

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Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City. His father, William, was a theatre manager and for many years director of Hammerstein's Victoria, the most popular vaudeville theatre of its day. His uncle, Arthur Hammerstein, was a successful Broadway producer and his grandfather, Oscar Hammerstein, ...

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Edna Ferber

Edna Ferber (1887-1968) was an American novelist and playwright whose camera-like regional descriptions and vigorous portraiture of ordinary men and women made her one of the most popular authors of the early 20th century. Her first professional writing was done for newspapers in Wisconsin and, later, Chicago. In 19 ...

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