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'Show Boat' Coming To NHS Stage



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‘Show Boat’

Coming To NHS Stage

Show Boat, widely considered to be the first great American musical, comes to the Newtown High School stage April 7 through April 10. Based on Edna Ferber’s 1926 novel, Show Boat depicts three generations of the Hawks family, and life aboard their Mississippi River show boat, the Cotton Blossom.

Show Boat is historic and groundbreaking in several ways. Its 1927 debut marked the first time American musical theater departed from operetta and vaudeville to combine music, lyrics, plot, dialogue, and authentic characters in one work. Its plot captures the music, culture, and social issues of the post-Civil War South through the 1920s Jazz Age. It also explores the family dynamics of marriage, divorce, and parenting.

The famed Florenz Ziegfield produced Show Boat’s original 1927 production, written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was adapted into films in 1929, 1936, and 1951, and revived on Broadway most recently in 1994 by director Hal Prince. Mr Prince’s updated revival of the show, which won six Tony Awards, is the version NHS will perform in April. Its musical score reflects four decades of American music and includes such well-known songs as “Ol’ Man River,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine,” and “Make Believe.”

The NHS production will include set design and costumes that colorfully capture America’s changing trends from the late 1800s through the 1920s. The student performers in the production have not only appeared in NHS shows, but also at Wilton Playshop, Musicals at Richter, Warner Theater, Sherman Playhouse, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, and the Litchfield Jazz Festival Summer Music School.

Despite the abrupt departure of original director Sabrina Post for an unexplained administrative leave, rehearsals have been moving forward under the guidance of interim director George Vallano.

Performance dates and times for Show Boat are: Thursday, April 7, at 7 pm; Friday  April 8  at 7:30 pm; Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, April 10; at 2:30 pm. For ticket information and reservations, call Cyndi DeMarco at 426-7983.

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