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 meet in Florida. The carnival and the meet were both successful, so the water show was repeated in 1941 and 1942. When World War II forced the cancellation of the annual Waa-Mu Show, the club combined their tradition with some students from Waa-Mu 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 jointly produced by the female Lorelei swimming club in 1949, but drifted away from its aquatic origin. 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.
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."
|2019||Hello, Dolly!||Isabel Perry||Casey Watson
|2018||Ragtime||Michael Herwitz||Michael Kelleher
|2017||Little Shop of Horrors||Maggie Monahan||Bailey Sutton
|2016||Gypsy||Aaron Simon Gross||Brandon Nadig
|Rosie Jo Neddy|
|2015||Titanic||Brendan Flynn||Jack Eidson
|Jason Shuian |
|2014||Shrek the Musical||Marlee Rich||Rachel Marchant
|Ellen Morris |
|2013||My Fair Lady||Tristan Powell||Louis Schermerhorn
|Ellen Morris |
|2012||42nd Street||Emily Maltby||Jeremey Shpizner
|2011||Ragtime||Michael Holtzman||Julie Boor
|Liz Doran |
|2010||Parade||Scott G. Weinstein||Zachary Baer
Jamie Lynn White
|2009||The Wizard of Oz||Katie Spelman||Zachary Baer
|Will Curry |
|2008||Carousel||Tyler G. Beattie||Brittney Anne Bahlman
|2007||Into the Woods||Travis Greisler||Dave Leuchter
|2006||On the Town||Josh Penzell||Abra Chusid
|2005||How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying||Evan Brody||Abby Wolbe |
|2004||Gypsy: A Musical Fable||Sloan Gordon Grenz||Danna Ginsberg |
|2003||Evita||Jonathan Saylors||Chris Plevin
|Cory Hills |
|2002||Damn Yankees||Jessica Redish||Megan Felsburg
|2001||The Secret Garden||Matthew Trombetta||Kate Webster |
|2000||Kiss of the Spider Woman||Mikie Garver||Claire Yoon and Kim Kelly|
|1999||Guys and Dolls|
- Murphy, H. Lee (January 13, 1995). "NU Show May Provide Peek at Future Entertainers". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "About the Dolphin Show". official web site. Northwestern University. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- Geeta Kharker (Summer 2002). "Stepping Up to the Plate". Northwestern magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "Student Recognition Banquet". Norris University Center web site. Retrieved July 1, 2011.