Overview


Synopsis

Taking place over fifty years, Show Boat tells the story of a family of performers living on a show boat, and their struggles with gambling, race, infidelity, and poverty. In the beginning of the show, Captain Andy runs extremely successful performances aboard his ship, called The Cotton Blossom. Unfortunately, after it is discovered that his leading lady, Julie, has African-American heritage, she and her leading-man boyfriend are forced to quit the show. As a replacement, Captain Andy employs his daughter, Magnolia, and a young gambler, Gaylord Ravenal as the new stars. Magnolia and Gaylord soon fall in love, but they must struggle against poverty and Gaylord's habitual infidelity. When Magnolia gets pregnant, Gaylord deserts her in Chicago. It is only years later that Gaylord meets his now-grown daughter, and finally reconciles with Magnolia. Spanning three generations of hope and heartbreak, Show Boat has established itself as an essential contribution to the American musical theatre canon.


Characters

Male

Lead

Tenor

Female

Lead

Soprano

Male

Supporting



Show Information

Music:
Category
Musical
Number of Acts:
2 Acts
First Produced:
1927
Settings
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
1880-1927, a boat on the mississippi, chicago
Cast Size
large
Orchestra Size
Large
Dancing
Some Dance
Ideal For
professional theatre, opera, university theatre
Casting Notes:
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, late teen, young adult characters

Video Clips

See All Videos