Sunday, November 18, 2012

Carousel Review!

(I sent this to The Montclarion to be published online, but they haven't done so
as of yet, so I decided to post this here in the meantime.)

Every semester has at least one Broadway classic delivered by the Department of Theatre and Dance. In Fall 2010 it was Sweeney Todd, in Spring 2011 it was Sweet Charity, Fall 2011 A Chorus Line, Spring 2012 Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and now, Fall 2012 we have Carousel, quite possibly the most original classic of them all. The department still continues to deliver these gems of shows to the best of its top-notch ability.

With a gigantic cast, beautiful music conducted by Gregory J. Dlugos and produced by the tireless orchestra, and memorable dance numbers, which is a majority of the show, choreographed by Mimi Quillin, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, directed by Evan Pappas and brought to us by the Department of Theatre and Dance and John J. Cali School of Music, will be playing at the Alexander Kasser Theater until November 18.

The story is about a young innocent woman in late 1800s Maine named Julie Jordan, played by senior Haleigh Adams, who has caught the attractions of lead character Billy Bigelow, played by senior Christopher Cannon, an ex-Carousel barker who is down on his luck money wise. Charmed by how different and witty Julie is, Billy marries her, though proves that he is not the best of husbands by never finding decent work and hitting her once out of stress and anger. However, he shows that he has a heart of gold through his excitement for his future offspring when Julie reveals to him that she is pregnant. Because of this he discovers even more motivation to get some loot, but with the help of his friend Jigger Craigin (sophomore John Caliendo), his determination ultimately drives him to his downfall and he must try to make things right for his daughter Louise (senior Allison Steinberg), who engages in the ballet sequence of the musical. Carrie Pipperidge, Julie’s best friend (senior Brandy Kostick), and her betrothed Enoch Snow (senior Gabriel Rodrigues) provide a foil to the lead couple by being the comical duo whose troubles are not meant to be taken entirely serious. Throughout the musical you see that every single character has his or her flaws but also retains some redeeming qualities.

Audience members will really appreciate Carousel if they go for anything “cutesy,” for the songs and dances are cheerful and fun and the love stories are gushing with adorable moments. These can get somewhat overdone and a little too cute, but there are also very powerful depressing and heartbreaking moments to balance it out, mainly in the second act, for the way they approach the story of family love is very deep, leaving audience members in tears.

"The story has so many universal truths,” says Cannon, “It touches everybody's heart. I never felt so good to be in a show."

Cannon displays Billy’s suavity, anticipation, and desperation very well while Adams portrays Julie as a strong female character that takes a stand in her life and yet shows some restraint and composure to remain ladylike in society. The ensemble definitely puts a lot of hard work into their performances, for they do so much throughout the musical and steal the show with their constant stage time. In regards to special effects technique, one very great moment is how Carousel presents the afterlife with the use of smoke, bright lighting, and echoes.

From set to score, to gifted singing by the cast members, this version is a terrific one. Just like the characters share love for each other, you will fall in love with Carousel. For more information, please check out this website:

There are other things I want to discuss about Carousel that I have not in this review, so that might be another blog post.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Look at What I Just Received in the Mail! :D

I'm so happy and excited because I just received this in the mail today in very nice packaging after much anticipation:

If you remember from this blog post, Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp has been one of my favorite plays on campus. To me it is difficult to find a copy of the script and I thought I wouldn't be able to read it because it is one of those rare gems, but then I found a great deal on! I am so proud of myself. I ordered it before Hurricane Sandy hit, so I think that's why it took longer for me to receive it, other than the fact that I set it for the longer shipping time, but it was well worth the wait! I consider this a birthday/Christmas gift to myself. :)

Here I thought the closest thing I would get is reading it at a library or borrowing a copy from someone. Now I have my very own copy!

For those of you who are curious about how the actual text is written (I know I was!), here's an example:

This is the first page of my favorite scene "Untitled (100 Words)". It is so amazing what people can produce with such a simply written script.

Here's something interesting. When I saw this scene, "Jungfrau (Word Association)", in the book, I didn't recognize it and figured that they just cut it out and thought maybe I was forgetting something but then I realized that it was replaced with the "Communicating with Aliens" scene that I saw and that the "Communication with Aliens" scene is missing from the book I have. I wonder why. Is there another version out there with the "Communicating with Aliens" scene in it or is this supposed to be the same thing? I wonder what the deal is with this. I wasn't aware that there were other different scenes. I was thinking maybe word differences but not necessarily scene differences. I'm interested in learning about the history of this play now. Why the scene change?

Well this kind of disappoints me though. I want the same version my school used. I think there might be other versions of this play and hoped that I was ordering the right one. I did see another book of it on the Barnes and Noble website, which could be the more updated one.

I just checked now as well. There are other copies of the seemingly newer version on and other sites (I saw a version with "Communicating with Aliens" in the Table of Contents on a Tumblr site actually). Looks like there are other versions I should maybe try to obtain. ;) I have to check who is in stock and which versions are which. It would be good to have the version I just received as well as the other one.

Then again, maybe the "Communicating with Aliens" scene is not that much of a loss to me and maybe it's a good thing to have a different version. It feels more intricate to have the original (if that is indeed what I have).

Everything else in the book looks pretty familiar and it brings back memories. I can't wait to read it some more and am glad to add it to my collection! :D

Well, I'm off to reading (and perhaps purchasing)!