This spring the Lyric Opera House is performing Carousel which many regard as the best musical of the 20th century. As you can imagine I was looking forward to seeing it but a few things came up and I was unable to attend the media preview. Luckily, my dear friend Lisa stepped in and wrote the following review. If you’re local to Chicago I’d recommend getting tickets. The play runs through May 3rd.
“The Lyric Opera’s production of Carousel is a must see for those who love good old fashioned musicals. The musical debuted (to rave reviews) in 1945 and it still has audiences raving 70 years later.
David Chase, the conductor, and award winner Rob Ashford, the director and choreographer, did a fabulous job of staying true to the play’s core in a modern world. The dance numbers were fabulous, the singing was heartfelt, and the performances were touching.
Steven Pasquale, a well known broadway and television actor, portrays Billy Bigelow, a brooding carousel worker and husband who attempts to correct his wrongs after his death. Julie, played by Laura Osnos, shows considerable strength as she stands by her man. Julie loved Billy until his death and raised her daughter to believe he was a great man, even in the face of adversity from her peers.
The set designs were minimal but effective. There may not have been as much pomp and circumstances as one would expect from a play with the name “Carousel” but it was well done.
Charlotte D’Amboise was magical as Miss Mullin the proprietor of the carousel and a widow who tries to get Billy back. The final scene where Billy tries to redeem himself is touching but shows that he has not learned enough from his mistakes.
Carousel presents a great theater experience. While it is a tragic story, it is a human drama filled with strong vocal and dance performances and ultimately redemption. It forces one to think about their life and their effect on others and remains one of the greatest musicals of the 20th century.”