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B-ROLL

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Bryan
It was controversial back then as well. Originally a Black ensemble had been engaged as the chorus- but refused to sing the N-word in Ol' Man River being replaced and the last minute with a studio choir - The Ambrosian Singers.
That is correct, and it runs very long and it is every-minute-magnificent, and it can't ever, ever be staged as is. Unfortunately. Starting with the very historically correct N word. Inappropriate today.

 

Suzanne.S

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I think one of the things that I love about Show Boat is that there is NO definitive version. I've seen several stage productions and the movies and every last one has been different. All have had different interpretations and a different focus. The core story is what keeps brining me back. I am very much looking forward to this release.
 

Jack P

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I agree that the recording is an awesome achievement, but McGlinn really came across as an ass in the liner notes, especially his contention that the three songs Kern and Hammerstein wrote for the 1936 film "have absolutely no place in a staged production" (McGlinn's italics) with no explanation why. "Ah Still Suits Me" helps flesh out the characters of Queenie and Joe, and "I Have the Room Above Her" is a song that helps develop the blossoming love between Magnolia and Gaylord - oh, and it just happens to be jaw-droppingly beautiful.
He turned out to be wrong since "I Have The Room Above Her" was incorporated into the 1995 Broadway revival.

I have to admit one other thing that's too jarring about the 1951 film is Howard Keel because I'm too used to Ravenal being a tenor.
 

JoelA

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I think one of the things that I love about Show Boat is that there is NO definitive version. I've seen several stage productions and the movies and every last one has been different. All have had different interpretations and a different focus. The core story is what keeps brining me back. I am very much looking forward to this release.
Suzanne, I agree with your assessment, but for me it's the music. Some of the greatest songs in the American songbook.
 

RichMurphy

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He turned out to be wrong since "I Have The Room Above Her" was incorporated into the 1995 Broadway revival.
And "Ah Still Suits Me" was incorporated in the 1989 Paper Mill Playhouse production, just one year after McGlinn's pompous statement.

To get back to the subject of this thread, as I remember none of the newer songs were incorporated into the 1951 MGM version.
 

Richard M S

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Mar 2, 2005
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Swinging it back to the upcoming MGM 1951 bluray with a detour to Broadway....I too am a huge fan of ShowBoat, ever since I saw the Broadway revival starring Lonette McKee and the recently deceased Rebecca Luker. I have seen just about every subsequent production in the New York area, the last being the revival at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut a few years ago.

While they all vary, the one consistency is that in every production, somebody claims to have re-discovered and restored the haunting strains of "Mis'ry's Comin Aroun", which was cut from the original production but almost always manages to be included somehow. Listen for it in the 1951 film; MGM used it as underscore for Ava Gardner's heartbreaking performance as Julie.
 
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roxy1927

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vincent parisi
I guess I'm the only person here to have seen Showboat with a showboat on water. I saw it at Jones Beach the theater which is in a lagoon with the audience on shore separated from the main stage by a canal. So when the showboat barge came rolling in it literally happened. It is now a rock concert venue and I believe the canal no longer exists. Mike Todd staged spectacles there in the 50s and from photos they look very lavish.
Mike's A Night in Venice. Click on photo.
 

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Harold Chasen

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While they all vary, the one consistency is that in every production, somebody claims to have re-discovered and restored the haunting strains of "Mis'ry's Comin Aroun", which was cut from the original production but almost always manages to be included somehow.

It was cut as a vocal, but remained as the backbone of the overture. So, the music was always available, but without lyrics, and without its dramatic impact from being placed where it is in the show.

Once you've encountered a production (either staged or recorded) with the full song reinstated, you understand why it's such a bid deal. It really enhances the impact of the "miscegenation scene."

McGlinn seems to have been very gifted but quite temperamental to work with from accounts I've heard.

That seems to be the politest way to put it <g>. Luckily, I got to know and love his Show Boat recording before I heard about him as a person.
 

AnthonyClarke

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So true of so many artists. I love Frank Sinatra for instance, but ..... The wonderful conductor Antal Dorati (at the helm of so many Mercury early stereo recordings) was hell to work with ... I have that on first-hand account from a friend who played principal French Horn with him). Go through and exclude all the 'difficult' artists and we'd have a pretty threadbare reperoire of music, film etc.
 

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