Chicago Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat “Show Boat”

Anthony Tommasini observes: ‘“Show Boat” is a pioneering masterpiece of American musical theater. But what kind of piece is it? An opera? An operetta? A rousing Broadway musical that deals with issues of race as complex today as they were in 1927? Approaching it as a hybrid has been the default choice for most productions, including the one now at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.’ Further: ‘There are pitfalls in going for some stylistic middle ground. And for all its vitality this production, seen on Tuesday night, trips over some of them.’

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