Coming to Birmingham as part of a month long UK tour, organised in conjunction with Wales Millennium Centre, Cape Town Opera have performed their production of Show Boat across Europe and South Africa since 2005.
Based on Edna Furber’s 1926 novel of the same name, Show Boat was the first interracial musical to be staged on Broadway. With music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, the musical Show Boat premiered at the Zeigfield Theare in New York on December 27, 1927.
Spanning 40 years, Show Boat tells the story of the cast and crew from the Cotton Blossom – the eponymous show boat on the Mississippi River. Covering interracial marriage, the breakdown of family, US segregation laws, bigotry, jealousy, alongside a host of social concerns, Show Boat is a prolific text and redefining production – especially at the time it was first written and subsequently performed. The score contains several well remembered songs, including “Ol’ Man River”, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “After the Ball”.
First performed by Cape Town Opera in 2005, Show Boat has been toured by the company across Europe and South Africa.
Show Boat Director, Janice Honeyman, says “Together with Porgy and Bess this (Show Boat) is possibly the classic musical that has the most telling reverberations for the South African situation. It deals with the have and have nots, the arrogance of the advantaged and their ignorance regarding poverty and racial discrimination.
There is the hope of change all the way through. But ultimately, as has been the case throughout history, while change is advantageous to some, for those most in need it is ultimately unfelt.”
Show Boat opens at the Birmingham Hippodrome tonight (Tues 2nd July) and runs until Saturday 5th July – for info & tickets, visit http://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/WhatsOn_focus.asp?showId=1828
For further information on Cape Town Opera’s production of Show Boat, visit http://ctoshowboat.com/
For further information on Cape Town Opera, visit http://capetownopera.co.za/
For further listings on the Birmingham Hippodrome, including full event listings, visit http://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/