Show Boat is a musical in two acts, based on Edna Ferber's best-selling novel. The musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over 40 years from 1887 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as Ol' Man River, Make Believe and Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man. The quality of Show Boat was recognized immediately by critics and since its premiere on 27 December 1927 at the Zeigfield Theatre in New York City, it is frequently revived.