Review: A ‘Carousel’ That Spins on a Romantically Charged Axis BROADWAY REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

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

Synopsis: 

Blame it on God, or the fates, or — to use the metaphor of choice here — the stars.

But when Billy meets Julie in the heartfelt, half-terrific revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” which opened on Thursday night at the Imperial Theater, you can tell they’ve been felled by a force beyond their comprehension or control.

Look at the dazed, questioning expressions on the faces of Billy Bigelow (Joshua Henry), the restless carnival barker, and Julie Jordan (Jessie Mueller), the homebody mill worker, as they sing that greatest of all ballads of romantic ambivalence, “If I Loved You.” They’re scared, all right, him especially.

You sense that if they do get together — and though they’ve just met, it’s already a done deal — it’s going to end in tears, and they know it. But to borrow a lyric from a later song in this ravishingly scored musical from 1945, “What’s the use of wond’rin’?” Erotic attraction, as cruel as it is transporting, is not to be denied.

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