Carousel is a musical by the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein. Based on the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, it was the second musical by the duo, preceded only by the hit Oklahoma!. The show follows the tumultuous relationship of Billy Bigelow, a carousel barker, and Julie Jordan, a female millworker, through love, death, and the quest for redemption. It features the songs "June is Bustin' Out All Over," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "If I Loved You."
The Broadway premiere of Carousel opened on April 19, 1945, and was warmly received by bother critics and audiences. This was quite a relief to Rodgers and Hammerstein, who worried that they would not be able to come close to the success that Oklahoma! had achieved two years earlier. Since its debut, many new productions and revivals have been staged in the United States, London, and around the world. In 1999, Time magazine even named it the best musical of the 20th century. So order your Carousel tickets today and see this Broadway classic performed live.Plot Synopsis:
In a small Maine town in 1873, two female millworkers, Julie and Carrie, visit the town carousel. The carousel's barker (promoter) is immediately attracted to Julie and the two take a ride together, but when Mrs. Mullin, the widowed carousel owner, sees Billy put his arm around her, she jealously tells Julie never to return. Upset, Billy mocks Mrs. Mullin and is fired from his job. Carrie presses Julie for her feelings for Billy while telling of her relationship with Enoch Snow, a local fisherman. When Billy and Julie go out later that night, she is fired from her job for staying out with Billy. But regardless of their misfortune, the two young lovers have a magical evening together.
A month later, Billy and Julie are married and Julie is expecting a baby, but Billy, upset about his unemployment, has become an abusive husband. While the town is getting ready for the big summer clambake, Billy agrees to help Jigger, a shifty whaler, with a robbery in order to support his family. In order to secure his alibi, Billy agrees to accompany Julie to the clambake, which delights her. At the event, when a misunderstanding separates Carrie and Enoch, Julie comforts her and encourages her to patch things up. Later, when she feels a knife under Billy's shirt, she begs him not to go, but he leaves to go through with the robbery.
When Billy and Jigger arrive and find that their victim, Julie's former boss, has already deposited the money they were after, they realize they have failed. When the man pulls a gun out, Jigger flees and Billy stabs himself with his own knife. Julie arrives just in time to watch him die in her arms. Carrie and Enoch arrive, reunited by the tragedy, and Julie's friends encourage her to persevere despite her loss.
Billy's spirit travels up to see The Starkeeper, who tells him that he has not done enough good in his life to get into heaven, but as long as there is a person on Earth who remembers him, he can return for a day to redeem himself. When he returns, fifteen years have passed and his daughter, Louise, has grown to be bitter and rebellious. Grab your Carousel tickets to see whether Billy can heal his family's pain and move on to heaven.Awards: 1945 Donaldson Awards: 8 wins 1992 Olivier Awards: 8 nominations, 4 wins 1994 Tony Awards: 5 nominations, 5 wins 1994 Drama Desk Awards: 7 nominations, 3 win Creative Team: Music Richard Rodgers Lyrics & Book Oscar Hammerstein II Based on Liliom by Ferenc Molnar Carousel News: June 20, 2009 The London revival of Carousel, which opened on December 2, 2008, closes.