by Patricia Grandjean
Aug 23, 2011
10:06 AM
Box Office

Can't Help Lovin' That "Show Boat"

Can't Help Lovin' That "Show Boat"

Diane Sobolewski

Goodspeed Musicals' production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Show Boat."

Goodspeed Musicals presents Show Boat at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam through Sept. 17. The American classic (based on the novel Show Boat   by Edna Ferber), featuring music by Jerome Kern with book by Oscar Hammerstein II, set the standard for Broadway musicals after it debuted at the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1927 (coincidentally, the production starred actress Norma Terris as Magnolia, namesake of Goodspeed’s second stage in Chester).

Show Boat is a journey into the lives, loves, and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk on the Mississippi River. The play is often a challenge to produce at many theaters because it requires a massive stage. But director Rob Ruggiero, presents an uplifting revival that has been skillfully downscaled to fit this theater to perfection. Designer Michael Schweikardt’s sets meld with the Goodspeed’s own Victorian charm (including its location on the Connecticut River) to make the theater seem as though it is actually the interior of the riverboat Cotton Blossom.

The very talented cast includes David Aron Damane (Broadway: The Life, Porgy and Bess and Big River), as Joe with Andrea Frierson (Broadway: Once on this Island, The Lion King) as his wife, Queenie. Sarah Uriarte Berry (Broadway: The Light in the Piazza) as Magnolia, Ben Davis as Gaylord Ravenal, Lesli Margherita as Julie, Karen Murphy as Parthy, Lenny Wolpe as Capt. Andy, Danny Gardner as Frank, Jennifer Knox as Ellie, Elizabeth Ann Berg as Lottie, Madeleine Berry as Kim (as a child) and Molllie Vogt-Welch as Kim (as an adult).

Songs include “Cotton Blossom,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “Mis’ry’s Comin’ Aroun’” and “Ol’ Man River.”

For further information and tickets, call (860) 873-8668 or visit


Can't Help Lovin' That "Show Boat"

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