The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown is staging the show credited with pioneering the modern Broadway musical.

Show Boat by Jerome Kearn and Oscar Hammerstein first opened in 1927 and has been a staple of musical theater ever since. Boasting the classic songs “Old Man River,” “Make Believe” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” Show Boat was also revolutionary for exploring racism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Director Francesca Zambello, who is also General and Artistic Director for the festival, says she tried to be faithful to the original.

“I just wanted to try to get the history right and make the right nods to the right moments.  I think people will be wowed by the scenery.  There is a big boat.  And beautiful period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell, who now has gone on to great fame because he designed the costumes for ‘Hamilton.’”

Show Boat is running through August 24th and many of the performances are nearing sell out. Glimmerglass is also producing La Traviata, Ghosts of Versailles and the world premiere of an opera it commissioned titled “Blue.”

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