Dolphin Show

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From 2006's On the Town, a musical written by Leonard Bernstein about sailors during World War II

The Dolphin Show is a non-profit student theatre organization that annually presents a large-scale student-produced musical theatre production at Northwestern University. The most recent annual production opened in January 2013 and was My Fair Lady.[1]



A group of Northwestern University men formed the Dolphin Club in 1939 to compete in Chicago area swimming meets. In 1940, the 15-member team held a swim carnival to raise money to attend a Florida. The carnival and the meet were both successful, so the water show were repeated in 1941 and 1942. When World War II forced the cancellation of the annual Waa-Mu musical, the club combined their tradition with some students from the Waa-Mu show to present an evening of song and dance called the Dolphin Show. The 1944 Dolphin Show was a musical revue called "Wela Kahau" including women's water ballet and the men's Dolphin Club. Proceeds from this show bought war bonds. In 1948 audiences returned to see a musical-comedy revue around the original Patten Gymnasium pool. The Dolphin Show became jontly produced by the female Lorelei swimming club in 1949, but drifted away from its aquatic origin.[2] The Dolphin Executive Board gave equal representation to both clubs who chose a theme for each year's show. In 1963 the production was no longer raising funds for the swim clubs. In 1964 the show presented Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado around the pool. In 1970, the group performed the musical Mame on stage at Cahn Auditorium.[3]

Alumni include actors David Schwimmer, Warren Beatty, Richard Kind, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, musical director Keith Dworkin, singer Ardis Krainik and Kate Shindle who was Miss America 1998.[2][3][4]


The productions have been awarded Northwestern University's Center for Student Involvement's "Outstanding Theatrical Production", "Outstanding Producers", and "Outstanding Director" awards, as well as William Daniels Awards, including "Best Musical."[5]

YearShowDirectorsProducersMusical Director
2014Shrek the MusicalMarlee RichRachel Marchant
Brandon Johnston
Ellen Morris
Adam Rothenberg
2013My Fair LadyTristan PowellLouis Schermerhorn
Rachel Birnbaum
Ellen Morris
Kevin Scott
201242nd StreetEmily MaltbyJeremey Shpizner
Lucas McMahon
Patrick Sulken
2011RagtimeMichael HoltzmanJulie Boor
Lucas McMahon
Liz Doran
Patrick Sulken
2010ParadeScott G. WeinsteinZachary Baer
Tom Casserly
Jamie Lynn White
Ian Weinberger
2009The Wizard of OzKatie SpelmanZachary Baer
Tracy MacKenzie
Kyly Zakheim
Will Curry
Liz Doran
2008CarouselTyler G. BeattieBrittney Anne Bahlman
Deanna Hope
Eugenio Vargas
2007Into the WoodsTravis GreislerDave Leuchter
Evyn Williams
Joel Esher
2006On the TownJosh PenzellAbra Chusid
Whitney Frick
Keith Dworkin
2005How to Succeed in Business Without Really TryingEvan BrodyAbby Wolbe
Rachael Scholten
2004Gypsy: A Musical FableSloan Gordon GrenzDanna Ginsberg
Dana Oppenheim
2003EvitaJonathan SaylorsChris Plevin
Amy Ludwigsen
Cory Hills
Daniel Singer
2002Damn YankeesJessica RedishMegan Felsburg
Geeta Kharker
Greg Brown
2001The Secret GardenMatthew TrombettaKate Webster
Karyn Meltz
2000Kiss of the Spider WomanMikie GarverClaire Yoon and Kim Kelly
1999Guys and Dolls
1998Sweeney Todd


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Murphy, H. Lee (January 13, 1995). "NU Show May Provide Peek at Future Entertainers". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "About the Dolphin Show". official web site. Northwestern University. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Geeta Kharker (Summer 2002). "Stepping Up to the Plate". Northwestern magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Student Recognition Banquet". Norris University Center web site. Retrieved July 1, 2011.