All tagged Show Boat

Broadway Blip: "Ol' Man River"

Perhaps one of the most poignant and powerful songs in the history of musical theatre is Jerome Kern’s and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Ol’ Man River.” This swelling anthem contrasting the hard life of the African American with the unforgiving, undaunted flow of the Mississippi River is one of the best-known songs to come from the groundbreaking 1927 musical Show Boat. The song was introduced in the musical on December 27, 1927 by Jules Bledsoe who played the role of Joe a black dock worker aboard the entertainment vessel The Cotton Blossom.

Movie Morsel: High, Wide and Handsome

An early movie musical (in black and white-gasp!) that is worth a look (if you can find it) is Paramount Pictures’ High, Wide, and Handsome. The epic tale features a score by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, II who also worked together to write one of Broadway’s most prolific scores, Show Boat. Made in 1937 (ten years after Show Boat), High, Wide, and Handsome was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, who would go on to direct the original Broadway productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel.

Broadway's Glorious Choral Sequences

Today I find myself in the mood to listen to great choral numbers from Broadway musicals. These are the glorious sequences where evocative orchestrations join hands with a multitude of voices and a synergy is born that shoots a jolt of lightening through the listener. Going through my cast recordings, picking favorites is hard to do, but I have assembled some of mine here. This list is by no means complete, nor is it intentionally exclusive. What it strives to be is a compilation of the choral numbers that make my heart soar. I hope you will weigh in, maybe listen to a few, and share some of your impressions of my choices and weigh-in on your favorites.