Carousel / our review
Touching timeless BEAUTIFUL
Feb 28th, 2018
Carousel: the Maine man is back!
Fun Fact: This is Renee Fleming's first appearance in a Broadway musical as Nettie Fowler! Fleming has had a remarkable Opera career and can also be heard on the soundtrack of the Oscar winning film The Shape of Water.
Target Audience: Fleming and Mueller fans will certainly be drawn to this classic American musical.
Best Bit: Lindsay Mendez (Carrie Pipperidge) steals the show with her cheeky charm. Her performance of "When the Children Are Asleep" with Enoch Snow (Alexander Gemignani) is delightful.
Carousel's return to Broadway could not be timelier as Hollywood stars, political powerhouses and even athletic giants are being named and shamed for sexual harassment charges and domestic violence. The iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical explores domestic violence in Maine in the late 19th century as well as prejudice, jealousy and control. While the story is somewhat depressing the message is rather philosophical. After great success in the 1940s and 1950s on Broadway and the West End, Carousel returns with a talented ensemble, hoping to be welcomed with open arms as we realize these issues keep going around and around.
Jessie Mueller (Julie Jordan) has traded in her nasty Broadway relationship in Waitress for one with Billy Bigelow (played by Joshua Henry), and replaces the baked sugary goods for Maine's famous clams! Although set in a different time and place the stakes seem equally high - a financially pressured relationship surrounded by prejudice, ultimately leading to tension and despair. Now, this may sound utterly depressing but Rodgers and Hammerstein somehow keep you tapping along to their infectious tunes, and of course inject the perfect comedic balance with character Carrie Pipperidge played superbly by Lindsay Mendez.
Brittany Pollack (Louise) and Andrei Chagas (Fairground Boy) perform a stunning ballet choreographed by Justin Peck, fueled by fear and the longing for love - the dance that is! Peck too may have been fueled by fear and longing for love as he celebrates his Broadway debut following a successful career on the international Ballet circuit. Peck's arrival to Broadway is very welcome - the dance is breathtaking and demonstrates how the cycle of destruction will keep occurring unless a change is made.
Carousel closes with a resounding message "You'll Never Walk Alone!" leaving us with a touching notion that no matter the path your parents have chosen, you have the choice to make your life your own, and see that love is all around.
View our show pages for more information about Carousel, Imperial Theater.