Broadway’s Carousel revival doesn’t work in the modern era: EW review BROADWAY REVIEWS

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Open Ended

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

Synopsis: 

Some Broadway musicals are timeless. Carousel is not one of them.

Director Jack O’Brien’s new revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1945 smash stars several of the hottest actors currently gracing the Great White Way (Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry, for starters), features the work of a hot young choreographer in Justin Peck, and includes a number of classic songs, but none of that can make up for the show’s one key problem: The story is Just. Plain. Bad.

After a very, very long “Carousel Waltz,” we’re finally introduced to millworker and “queer one” Julie Jordan (Mueller) and her friend, Carrie Pipperidge (Lindsay Mendez). Eventually, bad boy carousel barker Billy Bigelow (Henry) comes upon them, and he and Julie simultaneously lose their jobs and flirt until they sing “If I Loved You.” Then they kiss and walk offstage to get married. Time jumps three months and Julie is defending Billy to Carrie — who still hasn’t married Mr. Snow because she’s sassy yet practical — for hitting her.

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