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.

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