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Enchanted EveningsThe Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim$

Geoffrey Block

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.001.0001

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(p.319) Appendix D: Show Boat

(p.319) Appendix D: Show Boat

Enchanted Evenings
Oxford University Press

Broadway 1927


(Based mainly on “Mis'ry's Cominʼ Around” and “Why Do I Love You?” Other musical material includes “Can't Help Lovinʼ Dat Man” and references to Magnolia's piano theme and “Olʼ Man River”). [5–11]

Act I

  1. Scene 1: The levee at Natchez, on the Mississippi—in the late eighteen eighties.

    1. 1. “Opening—Cotton Blossom” (Chorus) [12–44], “Capʼn Andy's Ballyhoo” (Captain Andy), “Where's the Mate for Me?” (Ravenal)

    2. 2. “Make Believe” (Ravenal and Magnolia) [45–53]

    3. 3. “Olʼ Man River” (Joe) [54–65]

  2. Scene 2: Kitchen pantry of the “Cotton Blossom”—a half-hour later.

    1. (p.320) 4. Orchestra: Parthy's theme, “OF Man River” (verse), Magnolia's piano theme, second “Mis'ry” theme [66–67]

    2. 5. “Can't Help Lovinʼ Dat Man” (Julie, Queenie, and Servants) [68–84]

  3. Scene 3: Outside a waterfront gambling saloon. Simultaneous with scene 2.

    1. 6. Orchestra: “Life on the Wicked Stage,” “Make Believe” (sections 5 and 2) [85–86]*

    2. 7. “Life on the Wicked Stage” (Ellie and Girls) [87–95]

    3. 8. “Till Good Luck Comes My Way” (Ravenal and Men) [96–104]

  4. Scene 4. Auditorium and stage of the “Cotton Blossom”—one hour later.

    1. 9. “Mis'ry's Cominʼ Arounʼ ” (Queenie and Colored Chorus) [105–14] Underscoring: “Mis'ry” themes, “Where's the Mate for Me?”, “If We Were on Our Honeymoon,” “Make Believe” (A section) [115–25]

  5. Scene 5: Box-office, on foredeck of the “Cotton Blossom”—three weeks later.

    1. 10. Introduction (“Cotton Blossom”) [126–27]*

    2. 11. “I Might Fall Back on You” (Frank, Ellie, and Girls [128–37])

    3. 12. “Cʼmon folks” (“Queenie's Ballyhoo”) (Queenie) [138–47]

  6. Scene 6: Auditorium and stage of the “Cotton Blossom”—during the third act of the The Parson's Bride—that evening.

    1. 13. Incidental Music, played on the stage during the presentation of “The Parson's Bride” (Lange's “Blumenlied,” Parson's Entrance, Villain's Entrance) [148–49]*

    2. 14. “Villain Dance” [150–51]

  7. Scene 7: The top deck of the “Cotton Blossom”—later that night.

    1. 15. Introduction and Duet “You Are Love” (“Olʼ Man River,” “Can't Help Lovinʼ Dat Man,” “Make Believe”) [152–54]

    2. 16. “You are Love” (Ravenal and Magnolia) [155–61]

  8. Scene 8: The levee—next morning.

    1. 17. Finale [Harms, 162–76]

Act II

    1. 18. Entrac'te (“Make Believe,” “Ol' Man River”) [177–78]*

  1. Scene 1: The Midway Plaisance, Chicago World's Fair, 1893

    1. 19. “Opening—At the Fair” (Chorus) [179–92], Incidental (Fatima's 2nd Dance) [193]*

    2. 20. “Why Do I Love You?” (Magnolia and Ravenal) [193–205]

    3. 21. “In Dahomey” (Dahomey Villiagers and White Chorus) [206–19]

  2. Scene 2: A room on Ontario Street, 1904. “Good Morning, Carrie” [Cecil Mack and Tim Brymn]*

    1. 22. Underscoring during Ellie's reading of Ravenal's letter (“Why Do I Love You?”) [220]*

  3. Scene 3: Rehearsal room of the Trocadero Music Hall, about 5 p. m. “The Washington Post March” (Sousa). [not in Harms]

    1. 23. “Bill” (Julie) [221–23]

    2. 24. “Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man” (Reprise) (Magnolia) [224–26]

  4. Scene 4: St. Agatha's Convent—meanwhile.

    1. (p.321) 25. Service and Scene music (includes “Alma Redemptoris Mater” [Nuns] and a reprise of “Make Believe” [Ravenal]) [227–34]

  5. Scene 5: Corner of lobby of the Sherman Hotel, Chicago, 8 p. m. New Year's Eve, 1904.

    1. 26. Introduction (“Cotton Blossom,” “Life Upon the Wicked Stage”) [235]*

  6. Scene 6: Trocadero Music Hall, New Year's Eve, 11:30 p. m., 1904.

    1. 27. “The Washington Post” (Sousa) [direction for performance only in 236]* “Apache Dance” [not included in Harms] “Goodbye, Ma Lady Love” (Howard) (Frank and Ellie) [236–38]

      Captain Andy's Entrance [239]* “After the Ball” (Harris) (Magnolia) [239–42]

  7. Scene 7: In front of the office of “The Natchez Evening Democrat,” 1927.

    1. 28. “Ol' Man River” (Reprise) (Joe) [243–44]

    2. 29. “Hey, Feller!” (Queenie and Chorus) [245–57]

  8. Scene 8: Top deck of the new “Cotton Blossom,” 1927. “Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man” (Radio broadcast/reprise)*

    1. 30. “You Are Love” (Reprise) (Ravenal) [258–60]

  9. Scene 9: Levee at Natchez, the next night.

    1. 31. “Cotton Blossom” (Chorus) [261], “Why Do I Love You?” (Reprise) (Kim and Chorus) [262–63; Kim's imitations of her mother, Eccentric Dance, and Tap Dance not included in Harms or the McGlinn recording]

    2. 32. Finale (“Make Believe” and “Ol' Man River”)

Principal Changes in Selected Stage Productions and Films (1928–1994)

1. May 3, 1928, Drury Lane, London (350 performances)


“How'd You Like To Spoon with Me?” (1905) (replaced “Good-by, Ma Lady Love”)

“Dance Away the Night” (replaced Kim's reprise of “Why Do I Love You?”) [Chappell, 219–25]


Service and Scene Music with “Make Believe” reprjse (No. 25) (not included in Chappell vocal score)

Apache Dance

“Hey Feller!” (No. 29)

Eccentric Dance and Tap Dance

(p.322) 2. March 16, 1929, Universal Pictures, Paramount Theatre, Palm Beach, Florida

The first film version was distributed the day after the first Broadway production closed on May 4 (following a world premiere in Florida in March and a New York City premiere in April). Although mostly silent, this first of three filmed Show Boats included five synchronized Kern songs (“CʼMon, Folks,” “Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man,” “Hey, Feller!” “Bill,” and “Ol' Man River”). Its story line followed Edna Ferber's novel more closely than Hammerstein's librretto.

3. May 19, 1932, Casino, New York (181 performances)


Service and Scene Music with “Make Believe” reprise (No. 25)

“Goodbye, Ma Lady Love” (“How'd You Like to Spoon With Me?” interpolation from 1928 dropped)

“Hey, Feller!” (No. 29)

“Why Do I Love You!” reprise (“Dance Away the Night” from 1928 dropped)

Eccentric Dance and Tap Dance

4. May 14, 1936, Universal Film, Radio City Music Hall, New York


“I Have the Room Above Her”

“Gallivantin' Aroun' ”

“Ah Still Suits Me”


“Life on the Wicked Stage” (used as underscoring)

“Till Good Luck Comes My Way” (used as underscoring)

“I Might Fall Back on You”

5. January 5, 1946, Ziegfeld, New York (418 performances)


Dance: No Gems, No Roses, No Gentlemen

Dance: No Shoes

(p.323) Cakewalk

“Nobody Else But Me” (replaced reprise of “Why Do I Love You?”) (No. 31)

Dance 1927 (replaced Eccentric Dance)


“Life on the Wicked Stage” (moved from No. 7 to No. 11 [“I Might Fall Back on You”] [No. 11])

“Till Good Luck Comes My Way” (No. 8)

“Dandies on Parade” (“When the sports of gay Chicago” from “At the Fair”) (No. 19)

“Hey, Feller!” (No. 29)

Eccentric Dance

Tap Dance

6. July 29, 1971, Adelphi, London (910 performances)


“Mis′ry's Comin' Aroun' ” (No. 9) (reinstated after being dropped during the tryouts in Washington, D. C.)

“I Might Fall Back On You” (No. 11) (reinstated after being dropped from the 1946 revival)

“How'd You Like to Spoon With Me?” (reinstated from London 1928)

“Dance Away the Night” (reinstated from London 1928 production)


“Life on the Wicked Stage” (No. 7)

“In Dahomey” (No. 21)

Service and Scene and “Make Believe” reprise

Dance: No Gems, No Roses, No Gentlemen

Dance: No Shoes (Cakewalk is the only dance retained from 1946 revival)

“Nobody Else But Me” (retained from the 1946 production but placed in a new context and sung by Julie in act I)

7. October 2, 1994, Gershwin, New York (951 performances)


“Mis′ry's Comin' Aroun' ” (dropped from 1927 production)

“I Have the Room Above Her” (from 1936 film)

(p.324) “Alma Redemptoris mater” (Gregorian chant interpolation from 1927 production)

“Why Do I Love You?” (sung by Par thy instead of Magnolia and Ravenal)


“In Dahomey”


“I Might Fall Back on You” (from 1927 production)

“It's Getting Hotter in the North” (dropped from Broadway 1927)

“Ah Still Suits Me” (1936 film)

“How'd You Like to Spoon with Me?” (interpolated song from 1905, used in London 1928 and London 1971)

“Dance Away the Night” (London 1928)

“Hey, Feller!” (1927 Broadway)

“The Washington Post” (by John Philip Sousa) (first interpolated in Broadway 1927)

Manuscript Sources for Ravenal's Entrance and Meeting with Magnolia

  1. 1. Before November 1927: Pre-tryout and try outs

    Jerome Kern Collection Box 9 (Library of Congress) Manuscript material including an early typed script (26 pages) (Envelope 217) and two piano-vocal drafts (Envelope 245 [Draft 1] and Envelope 238 [Draft 2]).

    2. November–December 1927: Tryouts

    Tryout libretto in Billy Rose Theatre Collection, New York Public Library.

    3. December 27, 1927: Original New York production

    Libretto of New York Production (Hammerstein's personal copy given to Miles Kreuger on August 3, 1960). Substantial libretto portions published with the McGlinn EMI/Angel recording CDS 7–49108–2, pages 55–130. Vocal score published by T. B. Harms Co. in April 1928 (268 pp.).

    4. May 3, 1928: London production Libretto published by Chappell in 1934.

    Vocal Score published by Chappell & Co. Ltd. in 1928 (229 pp.).

    5. April 30, 1936: Universal film

    Screenplay by Oscar Hammerstein (unpublished)

    6. January 5, 1946: New York revival

    Libretto of touring version distributed by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Vocal score based on touring version published by Welk Music Group (192 pp.).


Songs followed by an asterisk are not included in the McGlinn recording. Numbers in brackets refer to the Harms vocal score.

Based on Kreuger, Show Boat, 226–27.