Broadway Review: ‘Carousel’ Starring Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller Review REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Imperial Theatre / 249 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Audiences encountering Joshua Henry’s electrifying performance as the charismatic but star-cursed Billy Bigelow will long remember the experience. In this new Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” Henry shows off the exceptionally beautiful voice of a genuine actor-singer, a voice that while warm and mellow, can also soar with joy and tremble in despair.

Director Jack O’Brien has given us a conventional production of “Carousel,” in the sense of a show that takes no risks but preserves and protects all the original values of a great American musical.  This isn’t obvious at first glance, because Santo Loquasto has designed a breathtaking abstract vision of a carousel — complete with flying horses/dancers — to open the show. But the rest of the musical settles into visual comfort zones for scenes set along the waterfront of the 19th-century New England mill town where the show is set.

Hammerstein bagged the plot from Ferenc Molnar’s “Liliom,” and while he moved the action from Budapest to Maine, he retained the original tragic love story of a young woman from a modest fishing village who falls in love with a roustabout carnival barker who moves from town to town. Here, the original contributions of Rodgers and Hammerstein are some of the musical theater’s most beautiful and enduring songs.

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