Show Boat: Musical Info & Synopsis


Show Boat spans several decades, exploring the lives and relationships of the performers, stagehands, and workers aboard a Mississippi River showboat. The musical tackles issues such as racial prejudice, love, and societal changes. The central love story involves Magnolia Hawks, the daughter of the showboat’s owner, and Gaylord Ravenal, a charming gambler. As their lives intertwine with those of the diverse characters on the boat, Show Boat delves into the complexities of race and class during a transformative period in American history.

Musical Information

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1927)

Cast Size: 30+

Genre: Dramedy

Setting: 1800s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s / USA

Creative Team

Music: Jerome Kern

Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Cast Albums

Broadway Cast (1946)➝

London Studio Cast (1959)➝

Studio Cast (1962)➝

Lincoln Center Cast (1966)➝

Studio Cast (1988)➝

Studio Cast (1993)➝

Toronto/Broadway Cast (1994)➝


Audition Songs: Theatre Trip

Licensing: Concord Theatricals➝

Sheet Music: Musicnotes➝


Based on a Book, Classic, Large Cast, OperaticPopular

Similar Musicals

If you’re looking to discover new shows, here are some musicals like Show Boat.

Porgy and Bess

Return to the complete A-Z musicals list »


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