Show Boat in the hands of its makers
July 8, 2014 4:27 PM   Subscribe

The New York Public Library has posted four original typescripts from Show Boat, the 1927 musical by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist and bookwriter Oscar Hammerstein, along with a blog post for some historical background.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (4 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I just finished reading Bill Bryson's "One Summer: America 1927" and he talks about how groundbreaking Show Boat was in terms of musical theatre. Not just because of the racial mix of cast and characters at a time of segregation, but because it was the first musical to fully integrate the songs and the story. Interesting post, thanks.
posted by billiebee at 4:45 PM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

The lyrics (prior to slight modification by Hammerstein) for "Bill" were in fact written by Kerns' erstwhile collaborator, P.G. Wodehouse, and it shows.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:00 PM on July 8, 2014

Though we've listened to you moan and grieve, you
Must pardon us if we do not believe you,
There is no doubt
You're crazy about
Your awful stage!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:09 PM on July 8, 2014

The costumer's notes are so telling about the time and the (never-before-happened) mixing of the races onstage. A great read, thanks!
posted by xingcat at 5:39 PM on July 8, 2014

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