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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2013
Time was when American opera companies considered musicals as suspect artifacts from another planet, hardly worthy of serious attention -- not even on a par with the operettas those companies would occasionally stage when they needed a box office lift. Bit by bit, thinking has changed at a lot of places, and a welcome thing, too. Washington National Opera has enthusiastically embraced this broader view, offering an inspired staging of the path-breaking 1927 musical "Show Boat," a co-production with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (where it debuted last year)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2013
Time was when American opera companies considered musicals as suspect artifacts from another planet, hardly worthy of serious attention -- not even on a par with the operettas those companies would occasionally stage when they needed a box office lift. Bit by bit, thinking has changed at a lot of places, and a welcome thing, too. Washington National Opera has enthusiastically embraced this broader view, offering an inspired staging of the path-breaking 1927 musical "Show Boat," a co-production with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (where it debuted last year)
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By J. WYNN ROUSUCK | April 26, 1998
When Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II created "Show Boat" in 1927, they introduced the first modern American musical - a show in which the story, songs and characters were completely interwoven.Incorporating material from the musical's many versions, director Harold Prince calls his 1995 Tony Award-winning revival a "reconstruction." The result is not only expansive and thorough, it's also sumptuous and hard-hitting.The director has accentuated the show's tough issues - racism, alcoholism, marital discord and gambling.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | February 16, 2007
The debut of Show Boat in 1927 changed the American musical by dealing with serious subjects such as racial tensions - including miscegenation laws and the fallout after a husband abandons his family. Show Boat was also groundbreaking as the first American musical with plot-advancing songs - in this case, telling the stories of star-crossed couples against a backdrop of American history spanning the first four decades of the 20th century. Composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, the music includes near-operatic arias, including "You Are Love," the compelling "Ol' Man River" anthem and the seductive "Can't Help Loving That Man," along with melodic love songs and catchy up-tempo tunes.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | October 6, 1994
The voice on the phone was emphatic. No seats available to the new production of "Show Boat" unless you'll take row X on the side. $75 each, please.I decided to pass up the New York revival of the fabled musical. "Show Boat" is selling out once again, delighting audiences one more time with its panoramic story of life on the Mississippi ages ago.Except, of course, the real show boat, the one that called at Baltimore and other Maryland and Virginia towns, lived most of its life on Chesapeake Bay and the Choptank, Chester, Nanticoke, Elk, Susquehanna, Potomac, York, Rappahannock and James rivers.
FEATURES
By Michael Kuchwara and Michael Kuchwara,AP Drama Critic | October 5, 1994
There's plenty of life left in the granddaddy of the modern American musical.Nearly a year after its Toronto premiere, director Harold Prince's rethought, reworked version of "Show Boat" sailed triumphantly Sunday into Broadway's Gershwin Theater.What Prince, director of such musicals as "Company," "Follies," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman," has accomplished with the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II classic is not just a restoration or a revival but a new look at an old friend.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | February 16, 2007
The debut of Show Boat in 1927 changed the American musical by dealing with serious subjects such as racial tensions - including miscegenation laws and the fallout after a husband abandons his family. Show Boat was also groundbreaking as the first American musical with plot-advancing songs - in this case, telling the stories of star-crossed couples against a backdrop of American history spanning the first four decades of the 20th century. Composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, the music includes near-operatic arias, including "You Are Love," the compelling "Ol' Man River" anthem and the seductive "Can't Help Loving That Man," along with melodic love songs and catchy up-tempo tunes.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 18, 2001
For those of you trolling for a classic, the Cotton Blossom will remain docked at the Chesapeake Music Hall in Annapolis, as Show Boat plays there through Nov. 18. The Cotton Blossom is the boat in this landmark musical with a score by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical, which debuted in 1927, forever changed the concept of the American musical theater. Show Boat was the first musical play. It offers a strong story and well-drawn characters, using the musical score to advance the plot.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | December 2, 1998
A new, pre-Broadway national tour of "Evita" will replace the previously announced production of "Show Boat" at the Mechanic Theatre next month. "Show Boat" ran into troubled waters when its producer, Livent Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection two weeks ago. The "Show Boat" tour was canceled yesterday, and the Mechanic moved swiftly to replace it."Although we are very sorry and disappointed that 'Show Boat' ran into difficulties on its United States tour, we are very excited about the opportunity to have this all-new production of 'Evita,' " said Michael J. Brand, executive director of Jujamcyn Productions, which books and manages the Mechanic.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | July 13, 1998
Baltimore native Karen-Angela Bishop's bio in the Kennedy Center program for "Show Boat" -- in which she plays the tragic character, Julie -- is not the standard list of credits.Instead, it reads, in part: "Karen-Angela Bishop ... is proud to be the great-great granddaughter of American-born slaves Ellen Walton and Wright Cherry. Just before the era in which 'Show Boat' takes place, Ellen Walton was severely reprimanded for slapping her white slave master in the face. Her insolence was such a serious crime in pre-Civil War North Carolina that she was promptly beaten and sold to the state of Georgia, and forced to leave behind her only daughter, Hanna Ann."
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER | April 27, 2006
Devote a whole day to this weekend's Waterfront Festival and you'll still miss something. The free four-day Inner Harbor extravaganza sails into the city for the first time since 2003, loaded with live music, food contests and yacht tours. And though there's no way for you to see everything, you can still catch most of the highlights if you plan your trip around them. Here's a guide to the events you might not want to miss. The majority of the festival's activities run from noon today through Sunday.
NEWS
By J. WYNN ROUSUCK and J. WYNN ROUSUCK,SUN THEATER CRITIC | October 23, 2005
He likes political themes. A bit of danger. The unknown. No wonder director Harold Prince savored the experience of staging the original production of Evita in 1978. "I've never done a job I was more pleased with the result of and I thought we really nailed it and it was flying blind," Prince says from his office in New York's Rockefeller Center. Considering the scads of legendary shows that the 77-year-old has produced and/or directed, his feelings about Evita run particularly deep.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Julie Bykowicz and Jason Song and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | October 10, 2003
Annapolis' historic Market House opened its doors yesterday for the first time since last month's Tropical Storm Isabel set the food shanty's cheese and ice cream afloat in a 7-foot slush of Severn River surge. "I don't know who's more excited about our opening, our customers or us," said an ebullient Judy Schwartzberg, co-owner of The Big Cheese and Sammy's Downtown Deli. Yesterday, the first day of this weekend's popular sailboat show, was the city's self-imposed deadline for drying out after Isabel's surge left much of the City Dock area - including a life-size bronze statue of author Alex Haley - temporarily underwater.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 11, 2002
When it comes to Rodgers and Hammerstein, audiences may be more apt to think of "raindrops on roses" than race relations. But the theme of race resonates through many of Rodgers and Hammerstein's best-loved shows -- The King and I, Flower Drum Song and, most prominently, South Pacific. Winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, South Pacific is experiencing a resurgence of interest. In addition to the 2001 TV movie starring Glenn Close, there's a new British revival directed by Trevor Nunn as well as an American touring production, which opens a one-week run at the Mechanic Theatre tomorrow.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and By Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 18, 2001
For those of you trolling for a classic, the Cotton Blossom will remain docked at the Chesapeake Music Hall in Annapolis, as Show Boat plays there through Nov. 18. The Cotton Blossom is the boat in this landmark musical with a score by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical, which debuted in 1927, forever changed the concept of the American musical theater. Show Boat was the first musical play. It offers a strong story and well-drawn characters using the musical score to advance the plot.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | June 3, 2001
NEW YORK -- "Let's put on a show ... about show business!" That could have been the rallying cry for the Broadway season being celebrated in tonight's Tony Awards. Five of the nominees for best new musical or musical revival -- from "The Producers" to "42nd Street" -- have plots about show business. Musical theater's fascination with itself is nothing new. As far back as "Show Boat" (1927), widely regarded as the first modern American musical, backstage stories have been popular choices for subjects.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | November 27, 1994
New York -- "Show Boat" and "Sunset Boulevard." On the surface, they don't appear to have much in common -- besides the coincidence of being the only two musicals to open on Broadway in the first half of a paltry season.But just beneath the surface lies a shared theme that is one of the strongest and most enduring in the history of musical theater. Both "Show Boat" and "Sunset Boulevard" are shows about show business.* "Show Boat," written in 1927 by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II and based on the novel by Edna Ferber, spans four decades in the lives of the extended family on the fictitious Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 5, 2001
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will bring Broadway back to Annapolis with its first-ever Spring Pops Concert tomorrow evening at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Enthusiastically received at the orchestra's pops concert in December, Donald Pippin will return as guest conductor with a program featuring a variety of show tunes. Pippin has served as conductor for several hit Broadway shows, television specials and many of the nation's major symphony orchestras. During his years of conducting on Broadway, Pippin, former music director of Radio City Music Hall, has been involved with many hit shows and has conducted original cast albums including those for "Oliver," "Mame," "Dear World," "Applause," "Woman of the Year" and "La Cage aux Folles."
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