Show Boat


STADTTHEATER BERN | 2005
World Premiere of a New Version based on the 1927 Original

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SHOW BOAT by Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein, based on the novel by Edna Ferber
Conductor: Franz Klee
Cast:
Noemi Nadelmann, Don Bernardini, W. Andreas Müller, Queen Yahna, Andrea Huber
Production:
F. D. Davis (choreographer), S. Rieckhoff (scenery), K. Voyce (clothes)
photos courtesy of Philipp Zinniker

Production Description: In this production, we view the piece as a critique of American white society. The unit scenic environment, an enormous barn-like room with walls made of raw wood, is divided into two distinct areas: a raised, pristine deck surrounded by an idealized image of the Mississippi River with a show boat floating in the water. Underneath this clean deck is the impoverished underbelly, the moorings of the white world above, where the African-American community lives and works. Whites and blacks remain segregated within these two areas with the exception of Magnolia, who is comfortable in both societies, until she is forced to leave her black friends below and join Ravenal in the white world above. The piece begins with a photo montage, projected during the overture, taking the audience from the Civil war through the end of the Showboat era. In Act II, during “It’s gettin’ Hotter in the North” there is a second photo montage using images from the roaring 20’s and the Great Depression.

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