Broadway alums Vanessa Williams, Julian Ovenden and Lauren Worsham are set to star in a semi-staged production of Show Boat this fall. The classic musical, which features music by Jerome Kern and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, will play Avery Fisher Hall from November 5 through November 8. Ted Sperling will conduct and direct. Williams will star as Julie, Ovenden will play Gaylord Ravenal and Worsham will take on the role of Magnolia. All three make their New York Philharmonic debut. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Williams recently returned to Broadway as a special guest vocalist in After Midnight, and was nominated for a Tony for her performance in the revival of Into the Woods. Her additional stage credits include The Trip to Bountiful, Sondheim on Sondheim and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Williams received three Emmy nominations for her performance on the ABC comedy series Ugly Betty.
Ovenden made his Broadway debut in the 2006 revival of Butley. His London stage credits include Marguerite in the West End, as well as My Night with Reg, Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel and Annie Get Your Gun. His screen credits include Downton Abbey, Smash and The Assets.
Worsham is currently starring in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Her performance as Phoebe, which marks her Broadway debut, landed her a Tony nomination, a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award. She is also the lead singer for the Brooklyn-based band Sky-Pony.
Show Boat follows the lives of three generations of performers, stagehands and dock workers as their theater, the Cotton Blossom, floats along the Mississippi River. The musical was first performed on Broadway in 1927 and has been revived on the Great White Way and by opera companies numerous times since then. The tuner features such classic showtunes as "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Ol' Man River" and “You Are Love.”