Today I went to Kokugakuin Tochigi University High School to see the musical SHOW BOAT that the students of the Musical Club of this high school performed. Every year I go to Tochigi to watch Musical Club’s performance because they play very well like professional actors, although they are just high school students, and you can see such wonderful shows for free.
I used to drive to Tochigi by car but this year I have no longer my own car so I got there by trains (Subway and Tobu Isesaki and Nikko lines). I arrived at Tochigi station at 8:30 am.
It took about ten minutes from Tochigi station to the high school.
This was the musical SHOW BOAT, the story by a troupe on a boat sailing the Mississippi river.
For those of you who don’t know what the story is, here’s the synopsis.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The show boat Cotton Blossom is a pleasure boat sailing the Mississippi river. There is a troupe who gives performances on the boat. Magnolia Hawks, a daughter of the owner of the boat, dreaming to be a superstar, is now just a staff member occupied with trivial routine duties. When the show boat is anchoring at Natchez, Mississippi, she happens to meet a gambler, Gaylord Ravenal, and falls in love with him. Her mother, Parthy Ann Hawks, is against for her to meet him, but her father, Cap’n Andy, allows him to get on the boat.
One day the leading actress of the troupe, Julie La Verne, who is a daughter with a black parent and white one, is arrested for being married with a white man, because it is illegal in this state that a non-white person marries a white one. Losing the leading lady of the company, Cap’n Andy makes Magnolia the leading actress instead of Julie and at the same time hires Gaylord, who is experienced of playing on stage. The show business results in a big success with them.
Magnolia and Gaylord love each other more and more deeply, and eventually they marry. They retire from actors and get off the boat to live their new life.
However, the new life by a steady-minded woman and a gambler doesn’t last long. Gaylord does nothing but gambling instead of working, and they manage to live in a cheap apartment. Depressed and shamed by his inability to support his family, Gaylord leaves her. Magnolia has a baby, and gives birth to a daughter Kim. She gets back to the show boat and begins an actress job again.
The troupe of the show boat is doing a show with another troupe at Trocadero Theatre, where Julie is a leading lady of this company. Julie meets Magnolia again, and suddenly leaves Trocadero so that Magnolia can fill her position. Magnolia passes the audition and is hired. She becomes a great musical star on the Trocadero stage.
Julie, disappearing from Trocadero, joins a different musical troupe and happens to meet Gaylord, who is a member of the company. She tells him how Magnolia is doing, and encourages him to see her again. He is uncertain whether he has the right to ask Magnolia to take him back, but she does. They becomes happy again with their daughter.