Show Boat (1961)


May 5 & 6, 1961


Scottish Rite Temple


“Show Boat,” spanning the years from 1880 to 1927, is a lyrical masterpiece concerned with the lives, loves, and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk on the Mississippi River, in Chicago, and on Broadway. The primary plot follows Magnolia, the naive daughter of the show boat captain, as she marries a gambler, Gaylord Ravenal and moves with him to Chicago. His gambling continues as his debts compound, and soon he deserts Magnolia and their young daughter, Kim. A subplot concerns the potential arrest of Magnolia’s selfless best friend, Julie on charges of miscegenation when it is discovered she is a mulatto, and her subsequent downward spiral into despair. The passing of time reunites Magnolia and her now grown daughter with her family on the show boat as well as her husband, who eventually returns offering a hopeful second chance at familial fulfillment.

Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics and Book by Oscar Hammerstein II

Historian’s Corner

At the January 25th board meeting, discussions center on presenting the musical “Show Boat” as a fundraiser to “Raise the Roof” of the new theatre on Robinhood Lane. Chaunce Conklin was selected as director of the musical. Hank and Alice Mulliken were selected as the producers for the production and the fundraiser. Dates for “Show Boat” were May 5th & 6th at The Scottish Rite Temple. The 6th would have both a matinee and an evening performance. At the end of the year meeting, it was announced that there had been 1,265 season ticket members for the two plays. The profit from “Show Boat” would be used to pay for “Raising the Roof” on the new theatre. The cost for the roof was estimated at $10,000. The profit from “Show Boat was just under the $10,000 mark. It was a very successful fundraiser.

Community Players were headed for Robinhood Lane.