Reviewed: April 12, 2018
Carousel is playing at the Imperial Theatre located at 249 West 45th Street. It runs two hours forty five minutes with one intermission. It is an open ended run.
This is the second musical by Richard Rogers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics). It’s based on Liliom a play by Ferenc Molnar. The original Broadway production opened at the Majestic Theatre on April 19, 1945. It ran 890 performances and closes on May 24, 1947. The 1957 revival was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (Olivier Smith). In 1994 the revival won five Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Feature Actress; Audra McDonald, Best Scenic Design; Bob Cowley, Best Choreography; Sir Kenneth Mac William and Best Direction of a Musical; Nicholas Hytner.
Jack O’Brien is the director. He won three Tony Awards for The Coast of Utopia (2007), Henry IV (2004) Hairspray (2003) and was nominated for seven for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005), The Invention of love (2001), The Full Monty (2001), Two Trains Running (1992), Two Shakespearean Actors (1992), The Piano Lesson (1990) and Porgy and Bess (1977).
Santo Loquasto is the scenic designer. He won four Tony Awards, three for costume design for Hello Dolly (2017), Grand Hotel: The Musical (1990), The Cherry Orchard (1997) and Scenic Design, Café Crown (1989).
Ann Roth is the costume designer. She won one Tony Award for The Nance (2013) and was nominated five for Scuffle Along (2016), The Book of Mormon (2011), The House of Blue Leaves (1986) The Crucifer of Blood (1979) and The Royal Family (1976).
Jessie Mueller won a Tony Award for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (2014) and was nominated for two for Waitress (2016) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (2012).
Joshua Henry was nominated for two Tony Awards for Violet (2014) and The Scottsboro Boys (2011).
John Douglas-Thomas was nominated for a Tony Award in 2017 for Jitney.
The time is the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in Maine.
Julie Jordon (Jessie Mueler) and her friend Carrie Pipperidge (Lindsay Mendez) are at the carousel. Julie is on one of the horses when Billy Bigelow (Joshua Henry), who is the carousel barker comes on to her. She rebuffs him. Later Mrs. Mullen (Margaret Colin) who owns the carousel tells the two women they are not allowed on the carousel. Billy sticks up for them. She threatens them that they better run along or they will miss their curfew. Both work at the mill.
Nettie Fowlers (Renee Fleming) owns a fishery. Enoch Snow (Alexander Gemignani) works for her. He is an ambitious fisherman.
Carrie is dating Enoch and tells Julie when she finds out she is going out with Billy.
Julie and Billy marry but things are not going well, he beats her. When he finds she is pregnant he thrilled but panics. Billy is not working. He got fired from the carousel and can’t get work. His friend Jigger (Amr Ramasar) comes up with an idea to steal from the person carry the money from the mill. They do but things go wrong, Billy ends up dead. He is inside the purly gates when The Starkeeper (John Douglas Thompson) tells him he is on the outside. That during his life time he has not done a single nice thing. But he has a chance to go back for a day on earth and do something good. He gets to see his daughter Louise (Brittany Pollack).
That’s all I am telling you.
I liked the story. The songs like, You’ll Never Walk Alone and If I love You are still breathing and wonderful songs. Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, Renee Fleming and Lindsey Muller do justice to the songs. Their singing was stunning. The scenic design and costumes were incredible. However the chorography left me flat especially when the ensemble did their numbers. It added nothing to the show, at least for me.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.