The Magic of The Musical: Episode 2 — Show Boat

Sat­ur­day May 21st at 2pm Pacific/SLT, 10pm in the UK, sees the sec­ond edi­tion of our newest orig­i­nal series on Vir­tu­al Com­mu­ni­ty Radio: “The Mag­ic of The Musical.”

This month­ly pro­gram explores musi­cal the­atre: the music, shows, his­to­ry, and lore, and is pre­sent­ed live on Vir­tu­al Com­mu­ni­ty Radio from the VCRa­dio The­ater on Chest­nut Hills, in Sec­ond Life. Each episode, host Cale­do­nia Sky­tow­er spot­lights a dif­fer­ent show or cre­ative per­son­al­i­ty from the musi­cal the­atre canon. Also in today’s sched­ule, the lat­est edi­tion of “Where Have You Been (noon and 4pm SLT) and “Engines of Our Inge­nu­ity”, every four hours from 4am SLT.

This month: “Show Boat”.

Today we “Begin at the Begin­ning” — going back to 1927 and the musi­cal that fans, artists and schol­ars point to as the offi­cial birth of the Amer­i­can Musi­cal The­ater as we know it. Join Cale­do­nia at the VCRa­dio The­ater in #Sec­ondlife or on-the-air as we explore Jerome Kern & Oscar Ham­mer­stein II’s land­mark “Show Boat”, which pre­miered on Broad­way at the Ziegfeld The­ater on Decem­ber 27th, 1927.

Under­stand­ing Show Boat is fun­da­men­tal to under­stand­ing both the work of Oscar Ham­mer­stein and the ori­gins of the “musi­cal play” that has evolved into the musi­cal that we rec­og­nize today. With­out Show Boat, none of the rest of it is pos­si­ble or makes sense.

Main image from the 1928 pro­duc­tion (Wiki­me­dia Commons)


The Mag­ic of The Musi­cal pre­sent­ed live at VCRa­dio The­ater in #Sec­ondlife

Addi­tion­al Information:

Among the Sources used -

Show Boat: The Sto­ry of a Clas­sic Amer­i­can Musi­cal by Miles Kreuger

Get­ting to Know Him — A Biog­ra­phy of Oscar Ham­mer­stein II by Hugh Fordin

The Word­smiths by Stephen Citron

Jerome Kern, Biog­ra­phy on and

A Look Back at the Orig­i­nal Broad­way Pro­duc­tion of “Show Boat”  (gallery) from

Video Links -

Paul Robe­son singing Ol’ Man Riv­er from the 1936 film direct­ed by James Whale

Irene Dunne, Helen Mor­gan & Hat­tie McDaniel with Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from the 1936 film direct­ed by James Whale

Open­ing Cred­its & Scene  from the 1951 film direct­ed by George Sidney

Kathryn Grayson & Howard Keel singing Make Believe from the 1951 film direct­ed by George Sidney

Ava Gard­ner (her own voice) singing Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from the 1952 film direct­ed by George Sidney

Vanes­sa Williams, Lau­ren Wor­sham, Natasha Yvette Williams and ensem­ble singing Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from the 2015 Lin­coln Cen­ter Presentation