9 reviews, average rating:(3.5 Stars)
What a glorious show. Simply amazing performances by a hugely talented cast... more »
If you booked this show because you wanted to hear Lesley Garrett sing then... more »
I went with a small group on Friday 13th February. Like the previous review... more »
Lesley Garrett stars in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, a timeless and powerful musical fable of love, passion and redemption. This brand new production by award winning Director Lindsay Posner.
A truly great classic musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL broke the mould with its gritty, courageous and emotional look at relationships. The story of the love affair between Billy Bigelow, a smooth-talking carousel barker, and Julie Jordan, a naive young mill worker, is set to one of the most ravishing and celebrated scores of all time, including The Carousel Waltz, If I Loved You, June is Bustin’ Out All Over and You’ll Never Walk Alone. CAROUSEL has captivated audiences across the world since its original Broadway opening in 1945 and was lauded ‘Best Musical of the 20th Century’ by Time Magazine.
To the strains of the "Carousel Waltz" the curtain rises upon an amusement park in a New England town in 1873. Fishermen, sailors, mill girls and children are enjoying the sights and sounds of a carnival atmosphere.
Two mill girls, Carrie Pipperidge and Julie Jordan, are having a good time until Mrs. Mullin, proprietress of the carousel, scolds them when she thinks they are flirting with her charismatic carousel barker, Billy Bigelow. When he jumps to the defence of the girls, Mrs. Mullin summarily fires him. Billy shrugs off the dismissal and instead invites the girls to have a beer with him.
While he is off to get his belongings, Carrie asks her friend Julie whether she finds Billy attractive, but Julie is singularly evasive ("You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan"). Carrie thereupon confides to Julie that she has a fellow of her own, the fisherman Enoch Snow, whom she plans to marry ("When I Marry Mr. Snow"). When Billy returns and is left alone with Julie they begin to talk about love, and the kind of person each would be attracted to. When Billy inquires if Julie could ever marry a person such as he is, Julie replies that she would - if she loved him ("If I Loved You").
Several months later, the fishermen, mill girls, sailors and children are excitedly preparing for the first clam bake of the season (“June Is Bustin' Out All Over”). Carrie and Enoch Snow dream about their future together as man and wife (“When the Children Are Asleep”). By contrast, Billy and Julie - who have been married for some time - are desperately unhappy. Unable (or unwilling) to find work, Billy lashes out at Julie and soon begins to spend time with his trouble-making sea-faring friend Jigger (“Blow High, Blow Low”).
When Julie informs him that she is pregnant, Billy is suddenly filled with a sense of parental pride and with an overwhelming feeling of tenderness for both his wife and his unborn child (“Soliloquy”). He is determined to get money for them to assure their future, and out of desperation, he agrees to commit robbery with Jigger that evening.
The clam-bake proves a joyous affair (“This Was A Real Nice Clam Bake”), alive with good humour, rowdy spirits and song. But the festivities are halted when Jigger flirts with Carrie and Enoch angrily calls off the wedding (“Geraniums in the Winder” and “Stonecutters Cut It On Stone”). Instead of deriding her friend, Julie - who loves her husband deeply despite his undependable behaviour - takes a different view (“What's the Use of Wond'rin'”). But that there is much bad in Billy becomes evident when he gets involved in the hold-up with Jigger. Caught by the police, he stabs and kills himself to elude arrest. Overwhelmed by her grief, Julie tries to find solace in the comforting words she learned as a child, and recalled to her now by her cousin Nettie (“You'll Never Walk Alone”).
Billy is taken “up there” where he demands to be brought before “The Highest Judge Of All”. Instead, two heavenly friends bring him to the Starkeeper, who permits Billy to return to Earth for a single day to gain redemption for unfinished business. He finds that his daughter Louise - now 15 - is an unhappy child who longs to escape with the travelling carnival (“Ballet”). In an attempt to cheer her up, Billy gives Louise a star he has stolen, but she rejects his gift. As a reflex action in his disappointment, Billy slaps her - he has failed again (“Reprise: If I Loved You”).
At Louise’s high school graduation, Billy urges his daughter to believe the wise words of the speaker, Doctor Seldon (“Reprise: You’ll Never Walk Alone”) and proclaims to Julie “know that I loved you!” By recognizing the importance of community and admitting his love, Billy finds compassion and redemption.
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