Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Show Boat’ is a big hit

By
From page A9 | July 14, 2013 |

Ron Bohmer (Ravenal) and Jennifer Hope Wills (Magnolia) in "Show Boat" produced by Music Circus at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. Charr Crail/Courtesy photo.

Photography © Charr Crail www.charrcrail.com Images for personal use only.

Check it out

What: “Show Boat”

Where: Music Circus, 1419 H St., Sacramento

When: 7:30 p.m. through Sunday

Tickets: $30-$74 general

Info: 916-557-1999

When Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Show Boat” first opened in 1927, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. Based on the book by Edna Ferber, it was no light and frothy musical, but more of a musical melodrama, as it dealt with serious problems, more in the manner of an opera.

The story focuses on race relations, miscegenation, alcoholism, failed marriages, compulsive gambling and single motherhood. It also has the necessary beautiful love story and a happy ending, with the comic characters of Captain Andy and his wife Parthy, who run the show boat, the Cotton Blossom.

“Show Boat” has become a beloved musical theater classic and is now being given a loving re-creation by Sacramento’s Music Circus, under the direction of Glenn Casale. This is a production which, unlike the 1951 movie, follows the Ferber book rather faithfully.

Opening in the late 1880s, the story centers around the Cotton Blossom, captained by Cap’n Andy Hawks (George Lee Andrews). Andrews (who owns the Guinness world record for most performances in a single show on Broadway, after appearing in “Phantom of the Opera” for nearly 25 years!) is a perfect Cap’n Andy. Though under the dominance of his shrill-voiced wife Parthy (Audry Neenan), Andy shows his independence now and then, especially when it concerns his daughter, Magnolia (Jennifer Hope Wills).

Neenan makes Parthy a real harridan and, honestly, there’s nothing much likeable about her. It would have been nice to see her softer side occasionally.

Wills is a beautiful Magnolia, with a lovely voice. She begins as a young, innocent girl and ends as a mature woman who has weathered all the bad things that life has thrown at her and come out a winner. Wills’ transformation from innocent to girl in love to successful matron is impressive.

Ron Bohmer is Gaylord Ravenal, the riverboat gambler who wins the heart of the young Magnolia Hawks and probably most of the females in the audience. He looks every bit the part of the suave roué who sweet-talks Magnolia. Though their instant love seems a bit unbelievable, their chemistry throughout the play works well for them both. It doesn’t hurt that his powerful baritone blends beautifully with Wills’ beautiful soprano in popular numbers such as “Only Make Believe” and “You Are Love.”

If there is a show-stopper, however, it is Phillip Boykin as the stevedore Joe, whose “Old Man River” brought out every nuance in that well-known song and gave it even deeper meaning. He also hit all the low notes clearly, which is a special treat.

The character of Julie Laverne, the light-skinned black woman, passing for white, and the most popular attraction on the Cotton Blossom, is always a character I would like to see more of, but Nikki Crawford made the most of her two powerful numbers, “Can’t Help Lovin’ that Man of Mine” and “Bill.”

As her husband, Steve, Gordon Goodman is wonderfully noble as he cuts Julie’s hand and sucks a bit of her blood to prevent there from being a charge against them for a mixed-race marriage (since one drop of Negro blood means that you are considered a Negro) as they are ejected from the Cotton Blossom.

Jennifer Cody and Jamie Torcellini are wonderful as Ellie and Frank, the comedic duo. People may not recognize Torcellini, since he was covered in costume as the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” earlier this season. Cody is cute as a button, trying desperately to become an actress, but forever stuck in comic roles because she’s so good at it.

Sharon Wilkins is Queenie, the “mammy” character in the original, who finds her own dignity in this production with numbers like “Mis’ry’s Comin’ Aroun’.”

Eleven-year-old Noa Solorio, a student at Pioneer Elementary School and a veteran of Davis Musical Theatre Company productions, appears as young Kim, Magnolia’s daughter. She’s very cute, though her role is brief.

Dan Mojica is the choreographer for this show and has created some lively, bright numbers, though perhaps the most outstanding was a dance scene that takes the audience through some 30 years of history via dance and costume changes. Costume designer Leon Wiebers must have been in his element!

“Show Boat” is a delightful production without a weak spot in the nearly three hours (including intermission). Act 1, which runs about an hour and a half, was so engaging that my 93-year-old mother was surprised that it was so “short”!

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

 
Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6