Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Carousel"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2001 by Robert Guenthner


Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump

Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Directed and Produced by Linda Strano

Director / Choreographer Barry Ivan
Music Director Antony Geralis
Scenic Designer Howard C. Jones

Aaron Lazar..........Billy Bigalow
Angela Gaylor.........Julie Jordan
Michael Halling.......Enoch Snow
Sarah Knapp.....Carrie Pipperidge
Alex Sanchez..........Jigger Craigin
Janelle Robinson.....Nettie Fowler
Kathryn Rossetter......Mrs. Mullin
Dimitri Christy, Sam Sinns, James Bodge, Keith Andrews, Justin Bohon, Kathryn Comperatore, Laura Gaona, Seth Muse, Bobby Pestka, Julie Reiber, Sharon Richards, Dana Steer, StephanieAnn Sheppard, Lauren Wagner, Tony Yazbeck, Eric Murray, Natasha Ashworth, Alysia D'urso, James Ricker, Jaclyn Sabogal, Robert W. St. Lawrence

The play takes place in a small fishing village on the coast of Maine. A Carousel barker, Billy, and an innocent young girl, Julie, find each other, much to the chagrin of the Carousel owner, Mrs. Mullin. She also has a crush on Billy. Billy is fired and remains out of work living on the charity of Nettie. Finding out he is about to be a father, Billy is talked into holding up the mill owner by his so called freind Jigger. The hold up fails, Billy, afraid of the consequences, kills himself. He lands in limbo, until given a chance to redeem himself.

This production of Carousel is not the watered down movie version. Shown in the play is Billys futility with life, his anger and his wife beating. Through out the show Billy does very little to endear us to him. Even in his big song, a quarter hour " SOLILOQUY ", he sings of his joy in possibly having a son as a buddy, then shows his dismay at the thoughts of having a daughter. This is a confused man, who finds his redemtion in the last scene , by finaly realizing that he loves, admitting it, and saying it to Julie.

Aaron; his better than good voice and acting plays a believable Billy. His duet with the lovely Angela is perfect in every way. The two young singers blend their voices " IF I LOVED YOU " as if they were born to sing this song.

Angela is a college student, who with luck to go with her ability and looks should hit the big time.

Michael, his twangy down east accent and his mannerisms prove he is a local lad . He is another of the fine talents that play NSMT.

Sarah plays Julies best freind. She becomes Mrs. Snow and brings a brood of Snow children into the world. A qualityactor with a quality voice. With her looks no wonder Mr Snow begat a large family.

Kathy plays the teen age daughter of Julie and Billy. The dance she does" CAROUSEL BALLET " ranks as one of my two favorites, the other " SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVE. " with Gene Kelly. Kathy is also a director and choreographer. Loads of talent in a lovely package.

Janelle is a super pro. She does Nettie in a laid back, but powerful manner. Her " NEVER WALK ALONE " ranks up there with the best.

Alex makes us hate him as Jigger [ he makes an excellent rat ]. Then he makes us laugh when he shows us the lighter side of his character in a scene with Sarah.

Kathryn is almost to pretty and nice to be in the role of Mrs. Mullin. Her Bio is one that would keep a score of people busy. Where does a person find the time to act. sing,direct, write and teach ? She does.

The rest of the cast, as all of the casts at NSMT is as close to perfect as you can get. This is one theater that gives you top grade professional talent, at community theater prices. I personally have purchased two seperate ubscriptions this year. Once is not enough for me.

For a theater in the round, the sets are splendid. From the houses and sail boats at ceiling level, to the stars that shimmer from high above. The grassy knoll, the pier, the gangway that has a double purpose. It serves as a walk way in the death scene, and a stairway to heaven at the end of the show.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next musical " JUST SO "

Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump

"Carousel" (15 May - 3 June)
62 Dunham Road, BEVERLY, MA
1 (978) 232-7200

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide