Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel: Live From Lincoln Center
||Oscar Hammerstein II, Oscar Hammerstein, II, Rachel Reichman, Ferene Molnar, Laure Sullivan
||Douglas Chang, Deni Graap, Elizabeth W. Scott, Andrew Carl Wilk
This is a concert version of ‘Carousel’, the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical which was based on ‘Liliom’, a play by Ferenc Molnar. The New York Philharmonic provides the on stage orchestration. Nathan Gunn stars as carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, who much against his will falls in love with Maine factory girl Julie Jordan, played by Kelli O’Hara. Billy proves an improvident and unreliable husband, but Julie stands by him. Upon discovering that Julie is pregnant, the unemployed Billy sees an opportunity for some quick money by joining his unsavory pal Jigger (Shuler Hensley). The scheme goes awry, and Billy dies. Standing before the Pearly Gates, Billy is given a chance to redeem himself by the kindly Starkeeper (John Cullum). He is allowed to return to Earth to try to brighten the life of his unhappy 15-year-old daughter Louise (Tiler Peck). Billy offers Louise a star that he has stolen from the sky; when Louise backs off in fear, Billy slaps her. He feels like a failure until he and his Heavenly Friend (J.D. Webster) attend Louise's school graduation ceremony. There the invisible Billy watches as the principal (John Cullum again) inspires Louise, and Julie, by assuring her that so long as she has hope in her heart, she'll never walk alone.