Show Boat first opened on Broadway in December 1927. The (unsigned) New York Times review began with this:
The worlds of Broadway and Park Avenue and their respective wives put on their best bibs and tuckers last night and converged at Mr. Ziegfeld’s handsome new playhouse on Sixth Avenue. There they milled about elegantly in the lobby, were pictured by flashlight photographers and finally got to their seats and on to the business at hand. That was the inspection of the news offering from the workshops of the maestro, the much-heralded musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s novel, “Show Boat.”
We would flatter this passage by calling it merely archaic.