Showboat -- Goodspeed Does It Right

By Bob and Karen Isaacs

BOB: Showboat, Showboat is opened at Goodspeed in East Haddam, and I have to say, that this iconic musical - one of the greatest works of American musical theater is getting a terrific production.

KAREN: When Goodspeed first announced they were doing Showboat, I was a little nervous about it only because Showboat is an epic musical with many settings and scenes and the Goodspeed stage is very small. But under the direction of Rob Ruggiero and the leadership of Michael Price, they have done a fabulous job. You don't miss the huge chorus and the spectacle because you are so focused on the story and the wonderful music of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.

BOB: who wrote the music and lyrics.

KAREN: this is a show that when it opened in the late '20s

BOB: 1927

KAREN: it was almost immediately recognized as a classic. This was the first really big musical with plot and music integrated.

BOB: It set the standard

KAREN: for shows like Porgy & Bess, Oklahoma, South Pacific, and My Fair Lady. I can't really quibble with anything in this show. It's already been extended to Sept. 17. Go get tickets.

BOB: In fact, our only quibble is that you may not be able to GET tickets.

KAREN: First of all, the music. When you have a show that includes songs like "Make Believe," "Old Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "You Are Love," "Why Do I Love You?"

BOB: "Bill" It will tear you down.

KAREN: You have a story that is epic - thought at times it is bit preposterous - it is a great love story

BOB: it will bring a tear to your eye

KAREN: It covers 30 some years. This is just an iconic show that is being given a terrific production here in Connecticut.

BOB: I was particularly taken with the costumes by Amy Clark and Florence Klotz. They really captured the period and I noticed the shoes were so perfect for the period.

KAREN: I also have to congratulate Noah Racey who did the choreography and really captured that turn of the 20th century style. Overall the performers are excellent. Some terrific voices and very good active. It is hard to single any one person out. You have to mention David Aron Damane who sings "Old Man River" and  just nails it

BOB: every time.

KAREN: Ruggiero did a great job turning us into the audience of the showboat and using the performers in the aisle Sarah Uriarte Berry was terrific as Magnolia and Ben Davis as Ravenal - the star-crossed lovers - or the supporting cast, they were all great.

BOB: You will absolutely love it.

KAREN: Anyway -- GO SEE Showboat at Goodspeed. It is through Sept. 17. You will love it.

This review runs on WHHU-88.7 FM and www.wnhu.net, July 28 to Sept. 15.


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