The Titanic originally set sail from Southampton, England to New York City on its fateful maiden voyage in 1912. On Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m., the great ship will dock at Queensborough Community College.
But in this production, which won five Tony Awards in 1997, the movie-famous but fictional Rose and Jack are not part of the story.
“Titanic, the Musical,” unlike its blockbuster cinematic namesake, focuses on the stories of all the ill-fated passengers on the illustrious ship, illuminating the classical tragedy of the Titanic’s historic voyage, woven with the flawed traits of the main trio of characters: the captain (compliance), the owner (greed), and the builder (compromise). “Throughout history, there has always been this question of who was at fault,” said Jim Middleton, the actor who portrayed the ship’s owner Bruce Ismay in a 2001 production.
“This is an amazing show that more historically correlates with what actually happened,” Middleton said. “The authors of this show took great pains in making sure everyone understands the class distinctions of the time, illuminating characters from the first, second and third class throughout the show.” For third class passengers, this was a chance for a better life; for second-class passengers, the chance to mingle with the upper crust; and for first class passengers there was the certainty in the power of wealth.
“Titanic, the Musical” earned critical acclaim during its Broadway run. Nancy Franklin of the New Yorker reviewed it as “the gem of the ocean. Astonishingly, ‘Titanic’ manages to be grave and entertaining, somber and joyful. What arrives is a feeling that the musical’s creators have taken you to the very heart of something. Little by little, you realize that you are in the presence of a genuine addition to American musical theatre.” Academy Award and Tony Award winner Peter Stone wrote the musical and Tony Award winner Maury Veston created the music and the lyrics.
Tickets for “Titanic, the Musical” are available at the Queensborough Community College box office on campus or by calling 718-631-6311 Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The College is located at 56th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard in Bayside, Queens (exit 29 on the L.I.E.). Ample free parking is available for the show.