1946 Broadway Revival
After its stellar 1943 production in London, Show Boat returned to Broadway for its second revival. Staged by Hassard Short and choreographed by Helen Tamiris, with “book directed by” Oscar Hammerstein II, the production opened on January 5, 1946 at the Ziegfeld Theatre, where it played 418 performances. The opening night cast featured Carol Bruce as Julie, Jan Clayton as Magnolia/Kim, Helen Dowdy as Queenie, Ralph Dumke as Cap’n Andy, Buddy Ebsen as Frank, Charles Fredericks as Ravenal, Colette Lyons as Ellie, Ethel Owen as Parthy and Kenneth Spencer as Joe.
In 1927, when Show Boat premiered on Broadway, popular vocalists would occasionally record a single from a Broadway show, but cast albums were not regularly produced, in part due to technological restraints. Of course, that changed in 1943, when Oklahoma! debuted as a full cast album, just in time for Christmas. Three years later, Show Boat got its first official cast album, 19 years after its debut. This ten-track recording is led by Jan Clayton, Carol Bruce, Charles Fredericks and Kenneth Spencer, singing to the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett under the musical direction of Pembroke Davenport.