ROYAL OAK –
Befitting of the rich and diverse score, Stagecrafters will present the epic musical, “Show Boat,” with an amazing 19-piece orchestra – the largest ensemble in the community theater’s history. The show runs through Nov. 23 at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak.
The generous orchestra, complete with harp, banjo and percussion, will bring alive such signature songs as “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “Ol Man River.” Considered by some as the first “American musical play,” “Show Boat” (music by Jerome Kern, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the novel by Edna Ferber) spans more than 47 years from 1880 to 1927 as it follows the lives and loves of a group of entertainers against a backdrop of post-Civil War America.
“‘Show Boat’ is about the endurance of the human spirit: Our capacity to change and cope is as inevitable as the Mississippi,” said director Sharlan Douglas of Royal Oak. “Just like our production of Ragtime several years ago, ‘Show Boat’ is a work of history. It takes place at a time of great injustice in America and it does not varnish the hard truths of those times. Within the show, however, the principal African-American characters influence the arc of the story and give voice to the themes of the show. We also see how they influenced popular culture in the jazz age.”
The time-honored musical, which began as a novel by Edna Ferber in 1926, has enjoyed many incarnations both on stage and screen. It first appeared on Broadway Dec. 27, 1927, at the Ziegfeld Theatre where it ran for 572 performances to close May 4, 1929. Since then, there have been six Broadway productions, the most recent of which was directed by Hal Prince and opened Oct. 2, 1994, and played for 947 performances at the Gershwin Theatre to close Jan. 5, 1997. It won five 1995 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical.
Tickets for all shows are $16 and $18. Call 248-541-6430 for tickets. For more information, visit http://www.stagecrafters.org.
ROYAL OAK –