BREAKING NEWS: A Theater, full casting and dates have been set for the highly anticipated new Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. The production (directed by Tony winner Jack O’Brein and staging by Justin Peck) is set to play Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (previously home of Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812). Previews begin February 28th, 2018 and Opening Night set for April 12th, 2018.
This revival will feature an exciting all star Broadway cast including the previously announced…
Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller who returns to the Imperial (for the first time in 5 years since Nice Work If You Can Get It) and the world of CAROUSEL (after playing “Carrie Pipperidge” in the New York Philharmonic concert production) in the leading role of “Julie Jordan”,
Tony nominee (and super friend of NYBT founder Amada Anderson) Joshua Henry making Broadway history as the first African American actor ever to play the lead role of “Billy Bigelow”,
and The Metropolitan Opera’s legendary star Ren?e Fleming as “Nettie Fowler”.
Additional Principal casting will include…
Betsy Wolfe (revival of Falsettos on Broadway and currently starring in Waitress the Musical) as “Carrie Pipperidge”,
Acclaimed Broadway vocalist Alexander Gemignani as “Enoch Snow”,
acclaimed stage and screen star Margaret Colin (Broadway’s A Day in the Death of Joe Egg) as “Mrs. Mullins”,
CAROUSEL is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s acclaimed musical inspired by the 1909 Hungarian play, LILLIOM. The show is a tale of crime, brutality, poverty, and romance (long before Les Miserables – Musical) where a carousel barker who goes into a life of crime in order to support the woman he loves and their unborn child. The show features some of the most iconic songs ever written for the stage including IF I LOVED YOU, MISTER SNOW, and the beautiful YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.
It first came about in 1943 following the success of Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II’s first big Broadway hit, OKLAHOMA! Theresa Helburn and Lawrence Langner (producers of the Theater Guild) envisioned having the composing duo write a musical based on the play LILLIOM. Opera composer Verdi originally almost adapted that play as an opera prior, but failed to do it. However for Rodgers & Hammerstein, they flatly refused and thought it looked way too depressing. However, they said they would do it but changed things around in the story, including the setting (where they got the idea from Richard Rodgers’ home in Connecticut, which was a fishing area). They renamed it CAROUSEL after being inspired by the opening scene of LILLIOM set at a Carnival. They continued to work on the show for the next two years.
The original production opened on Broadway in 1945 at the Majestic Theatre running for 840 performances. The original production starred John Raitt as “Billy Bigelow,” Jan Clayton as “Julie Jordan,” Christine Johnson as “Nettie,” and Jean Darling as “Carrie Pipperidge.” The show did not get any Tony Award nominations or wins because they were not created until that very next year. Following its Broadway run, the show went on to wow the world.
The show was last revived on Broadway in 1994 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center Theater in 1994, playing 322 performances. This production was a transfer for the acclaimed 1992 West End production that played the National Theatre in London. It starred Michael Hayden as “Billy”, Sally Murphy as “Julie”, the late Shirley Verrett as “Nettie”, Audra McDonald (in her Broadway debut) as “Carrie Pipperidge.” In addition, Taye Diggs appeared in the Ensemble. (McDonald and Diggs later went to star opposite each other on Private Practice). The revival was nominated and won all 5 categories of its Tonys that year, including Best Revival of a Musical. Plus, Audra McDonald won her first-ever Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
CAROUSEL was also an acclaimed film that came out in 1956 that starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones (after previously starring in the film version of OKLAHOMA) as “Billy Bigelow” and “Julie Jordan,” along with Claramae Turner as “Nettie,” and Barbara Ruick as “Carrie Pipperidge.”
Who is excited for this beautiful, romantic, and haunting musical to return to Broadway?! Thoughts on this cast?!
Producers Scott Rudin and Roy Furman announced today that Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical Carousel, directed by three-time Tony Award? winner Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck, will play the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street) when it makes its return to Broadway next spring?
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