More than 700 attend ‘Titanic' at River Campus

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Titanic's architect amazes passengers with his story of "How Did They Build Titanic?" in Titanic: The Musical on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 at Bedell Performance Hall. (KENNETH L. STILSON)

During the intermission of Friday evening's performance of "Titanic: The Musical," many spectators expressed mild disappointment that the production wasn't a musical version of the blockbuster James Cameron motion picture they were hoping to see.

But by the time for the traditional company bow to close the musical, almost all in the audience of 733 at the Bedell Performance Hall were on their feet applauding. Box office director Ellen Farrow said 795 tickets were sold.

"It's very different," said Collin Cecil of Sikeston, Mo., in comparing "Titanic: The Musical" to the 1997 film. "But it was nice," he added. Cecil and wife Starla received tickets to "Titanic" as a birthday gift for her. It was the first musical the Cecils have attended.

Mother and daughter Bonnie and Amber Pierce of Cape Girardeau attended the performance together and were divided on their expectations before the play.

"I thought it would be more like the movie," Bonnie Pierce said.

"I didn't think it would be like the movie," Amber Pierce said. "I thought it would be more informational. ... More of a historical representation of the Titanic."

Amber Pierce was impressed not only by the talent of the cast, but also the way the production managed to picture the ship with the limitations of the River Campus stage.

"The stage is very simplistic," Amber said. "I wasn't sure how they would represent the whole boat and the iceberg and all of that."

While there were no Jack and Rose in the production, there were plenty of other characters to grab the attention of the audience.

There was Alice Bean, a second-class passenger on the ship who longed to rub elbows with the wealthy socialites in first class, to the chagrin of her husband Edgar. And there was telegraph operator Harold Bride, who despite having an inflated opinion of the importance of his job showed his soft side by agreeing to transmit a marriage proposal by a third-class passenger. Also prominent in the musical were the roles of J. Bruce Ismay, owner of the White Star Line and the Titanic, and Capt. E.J. Smith. Smith was the captain of the vessel who eventually yielded to the pressure from Ismay and made decisions that ultimately doomed the Titanic and many of her passengers.

The touring version of "Titanic: The Musical" was produced by Boebe Productions. The original 1997 Broadway production ran for more than 800 performances, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Pertinent address:

518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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