Saturday Open Thread

Good Morning.

Enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

Today’s musical – Showboat.

Show Boat:

Show Boat is a 1927 musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on Edna Ferber’s bestselling novel of the same name, the musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands, and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over a span of nearly fifty years, from 1880 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as “Ol’ Man River”, “Make Believe”, and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”.

The arrival of Show Boat on Broadway was a watershed moment in the history of American musicals. Compared to the trivial and unrealistic operettas, light musical comedies, and “Follies”-type musical revues that defined Broadway in the 1890s and early 20th century, Show Boat “was a radical departure in musical storytelling, marrying spectacle with seriousness.”[1] According to The Complete Book of Light Opera:

“Here we come to a completely new genre – the musical play as distinguished from musical comedy. Now… the play was the thing, and everything else was subservient to that play. Now… came complete integration of song, humor and production numbers into a single and inextricable artistic entity.”[2]

The quality of the musical was recognized immediately by the critics, and Show Boat is frequently revived. Awards for Broadway shows did not exist in 1927 when the original production of the show premiered, nor in 1932, when its first revival was staged, but recent revivals of Show Boat have won both the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (1995) and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (2008).

Original 1927 productionShow Boat premiered in New York on December 27, 1927. Ziegfeld previewed the production in a pre-Broadway tour from November 15 to December 19, 1927. The locations included the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Nixon Theatre in Pittsburgh, the Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, and the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia.[12][13] The show opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927. The critics were immediately enthusiastic, and the show was a great popular success, running a year and a half, for a total of 572 performances.

The production was staged by Oscar Hammerstein II.[14] Choreography for the show was by Sammy Lee. The original cast included Norma Terris as Magnolia Hawks and her daughter Kim (as an adult), Howard Marsh as Gaylord Ravenal, Helen Morgan as Julie LaVerne, Jules Bledsoe as Joe, Charles Winninger as Cap’n Andy Hawks, Edna May Oliver as Parthy Ann Hawks, Sammy White as Frank Schultz, Eva Puck as Ellie May Chipley, and Tess Gardella as Queenie. The orchestrator was Robert Russell Bennett, and the conductor was Victor Baravalle. The scenic design for the original production was by Joseph Urban, who had worked with Ziegfeld for many years in his Follies and had designed the elaborate new Ziegfeld Theatre itself. Costumes were designed by John Harkrider.[15]

In his opening night review for the New York Times, Brooks Atkinson called the book’s adaptation “intelligently made”, and the production one of “unimpeachable skill and taste”. He termed Norma Terris “a revelation”; Charles Winninger “extraordinarily persuasive and convincing”; and Jules Bledsoe’s singing “remarkably effective”.[16]

[edit] Paul RobesonThe character Joe, the stevedore who sings “Ol’ Man River”, was expanded from the novel and written specifically by Kern for Paul Robeson, already a noted actor and singer. Although he is the actor most identified with the role and the song, he was unavailable for the original production due to its opening delay. Jules Bledsoe premiered the part. Robeson played Joe in four notable productions of Show Boat: the 1928 premier London production; the 1932 Broadway revival; the 1936 film version; and a 1940 stage revival in Los Angeles.

Reviewing the 1932 Broadway revival, the critic Brooks Atkinson described Robeson’s performance: “Mr. Robeson has a touch of genius. It is not merely his voice, which is one of the richest organs on the stage. It is his understanding that gives ‘Old Man River’ an epic lift. When he sings…you realize that Jerome Kern’s spiritual has reached its final expression.”[17]


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25 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Watching C-Span with John Boehner reading off his cue cards spewing the cut spending lower taxes, smaller government talking points for economic growth. *SIGH*

  2. Ametia says:


    The board of the NAACP, the “nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization,” endorsed marriage equality at a meeting this afternoon. The move comes 10 days after President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage.

    The NAACP’s move comes as attitudes about gays and lesbians in the African American community are changing rapidly. A recent poll found that 54% of African Americans supported President Obama’s recent decision.
    Maxim Thorne, a Senior Vice President at the NAACP, broke the news over Twitter:

    Maxim Thorne@Maximthorne
    The NAACP Board of Directors has just endorsed marriage equality unequivocally. Only two opposed! An historic moment.

  3. Ametia says:

    Appreciate Mr. Rather’s honesty about the media here.

  4. Ametia says:

    While Mitt Romney says the economy is a wreck, GOP governors are boasting of robust recovery

    Romney, GOP guvs have differing takes on economy
    By BOB LEWIS | Associated Press | May 18, 2012 1:35 PM CDT in

    In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell runs TV ads hailing the state’s business growth. Ohio Gov. John Kasich tells anyone who will listen that 100,000 jobs have been created or retained on his watch. And Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder promotes a state budget that’s on solid ground for the first time in a decade.

    • Ametia says:

      Updated: 12:11 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012 |
      Romney, GOP guvs have differing takes on economy
      By BOB LEWIS -The Associated Press

      In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell runs TV ads hailing the state’s business growth. Ohio Gov. John Kasich tells anyone who will listen that 100,000 jobs have been created or retained on his watch. And Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder promotes a state budget that’s on solid ground for the first time in a decade.

      All that optimism from Republican governors in key presidential election battlegrounds conflicts with the pessimistic message that Mitt Romney is spreading. The GOP presidential candidate is focused on the nation’s fragile economic rebound as he works to persuade Americans to dump President Barack Obama.

      “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs” but instead “we are enduring the most tepid recovery in modern history,” Romney said this week in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s the same state where GOP Gov. Terry Branstad has been crowing about an unemployment rate that has dropped to 5.1 percent from 5.9 percent a year ago.

      It’s just the latest example of how, less than six months before the general election, Romney can end up in an awkward situation as he argues that the economy is deeply troubled while GOP governors salute an economic renaissance in their states.

      How can it be both, MITT ROMNEY?

  5. Ametia says:

    Robert S. Becker
    NationofChange / Op-Ed
    Published: Saturday 19 May 2012

    “Romney creeps us out because he’s so much richer and more predatory, yet still the calculating striver, oblivious to others, rushing to conform to the latest and lowest rightwing denominator.”

    Enough with that down-home, baseball glove moniker for Willard. Let’s identify Mitt the unfit with his most compelling doppelganger, that paragon of phoniness so fully satirized by Sinclair Lewis he’s America’s icon for narrow-mindedness: Babbitt. Indeed, tainted Babbitry today rules the GOP, uniting materialistic complacency with unthinking conformity – ever fostered by the God of Progress and sponsored by rabid, small-minded Boosterism. Thus, today’s self-righteous spawn: deluded American Exceptionalism.

    Now that full public glare unzips what remains of Romney’s sanitized image, what emerges is a most disagreeable huckster, a Babbitt on steroids. Romney creeps us out because he’s so much richer and more predatory, yet still the calculating striver, oblivious to others, rushing to conform to the latest and lowest rightwing denominator. Exchange bank accounts and Protestant denominations, brother Romney tops Babbitt for hypocrisy and presumption, for the latter only idly dreamed of becoming a governor.

    Equally devoted to Romney’s campaign slogan, “Believe in America,” Lewis’ smug Zenith booster also insists a hard-nosed businessman should run the federal government, like an efficient, unyielding machine. That echoes the most infamous paean to 1920’s capitalism from President Calvin Coolidge, the “chief business of the American people is business.” Nor would Babbitt nor Romney challenge this other, transcendent Coolidgism, “The man who builds a factory builds a temple. The man who works there worships there.” Yes, the religion of business, and vice versa.

  6. Ametia says:


  7. Ametia says:


    Mitt Happens

    Margaret, I just called my friend Patricia to apologize for dipping her hair into that inkwell back in grade school. I feel bad that I did it and I feel even worse that she no longer remembers who I am or that she one time had hair long enough to put in pig tails. We’re getting old, Margaret. And you know what else is getting old? The parade of schmucks who keep running for political office.

    The population of the United States is now over 300 million people. That means that every four years, one person out of 300 million gets the honor of being President of the greatest country on the planet. With those odds, you would think the Republican Party could have found someone who wasn’t a dry drunk like George W. Bush… or the bully in high school like Mitt Romney. I know. I know. We all did dumb things when we were young. Youth. I miss it like I miss my waistline. Shit happens… or in this case Mitt happened. “Back in high school, I did some dumb things,” Romney said. “And if anyone was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that.” Me too. I really do feel bad about dipping Patricia’s hair into that ink well.

    Mitt went on to say, “There’s going to be some that want to talk about high school. Well, if you really think that’s important, be my guest.”


  8. Ametia says:

    So who’s the minority now buddy?
    18 May 2012
    Author: Keith Owens -JJP

    From Ymoore: You’re right, this is not news; its coming has been reported for more than a decade now. This is why we’re seeing all of these anti-birth control and contraception legislation rising in states around the country.

    At their core, these laws — the vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion,allowing pharmacists to not fill birth control prescriptions, defunding Planned Parenthood — are about increasing white births by forcing more white women to get pregnant and have babies. Although its often wrapped in religious language about the sanctity of life, people who really believed that would not turn around and defund child health care or nutrition programs or educational program to support the life of children.

    This is also why these same “pro-life” groups are so pro-gun and “stand your ground” laws that give them license to kill people of color with impunity. I know there are black people in pro-gun states who own guns and support these laws, however, these laws will only protect them and their guns if they use them on other black people.

  9. Ametia says:

    It’s gonna be another video day, folks!

  10. Ametia says:


  11. Ametia says:

    Will Smith
    ATTACKS Kissy Reporter

    Will Smith just slapped a Ukrainian reporter across the face at the Moscow premiere of “Men in Black 3” — and it was all caught on tape.

    The Ukrainian reporter tries to kiss Will on the lips on the red carpet and the actor angrily pushes him away and then backhands him across the face.

    You can clearly see that Will is incredibly pissed that the guy showed overt affection toward him.

    After Will slaps the guy, Will says, “He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.”

    We’re told the dude who kissed Will is a television reporter who often kisses celebrities — it’s his schtick.

    For the record, Will just came out in support of gay marriage.

    A source on scene tells TMZ, the reporter’s mouth brushed up against Will’s and that’s why the actor reacted so violently. Despite the incident, Will stayed positive … and happily continued to sign autographs for fans and do red carpet interviews.


  12. Ametia says:

    Trinity pastor Otis Moss is on MHP’s show this morning speaking about the SuperPac hit piece on PBO & Rev. Wright.

    • Ametia says:

      Stein’s just showing how much self-hate and loathing he has and disdain for a smart, brilliant BLACK PRESIDENT. GTFOH.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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