First Look: David Aron Damane in ‘Show Boat’

Show Boat ArtA revised version of Show Boat is currently playing at the Goodspeed Opera in East Haddam, CT. The scaled down musical is directed by Rob Ruggiero and runs from now until Sept 27. We have a first look at the new production and it’s colorful cast.

The musical broke ground by introducing serious story elements — racism, miscegenation, spousal abandonment — into the genre of musical comedy.

David Aron Damane, whose Broadway credits include The Life and the revival of Big River, plays Joe, the post-Reconstruction African-American stevedore who labors on the Cotton Blossom, cooing with his lady, Queenie, (Andrea Frierson), and ruminating about the indifference of “Ol’ Man River.”

Ruggiero explained in director’s notes, “Our version of Show Boat is based on the 1946 published script, but we have made — with the support and approval of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization — some adjustments, edits, and changes specific to the Goodspeed production. Show Boat has never been performed the same way twice — it’s a piece of theatre that has always invited interpretation and choice. In addition, we faced specific challenges with producing Show Boat at Goodspeed: the size of cast we could accommodate on stage and the limited amount of physical stage space available to perform the show. Certain changes we made reflect necessary adjustments that serve both those challenges…”

Show Boat

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David Aron Damane (Photo by Diane Sobolewski)

The ensemble cast includes Paule Aboite, A’Lisa Miles, Richard Waits, Kyle E. Baird, and Nicholas Ward.

Show Boat will run July 1 through September 27, 2011 [Official Press Opening July 27, 2011]. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.). Visit goodspeed.org for ticket info.