Everyone loves a good Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Their theatrical productions are often seen as timeless classics with enchanting music and charming characters. That is why I was eager to see Carousel at the UC Davis Health Pavilion.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which is based on the 1909 play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, follows the tale of carousel barker Billy Bigelow who falls in love and marries Julie Jordan causing them both to lose their job. Desperate for money and discovering Julie is pregnant, Billy participates in a robbery that tragically goes wrong. This ultimately leaves him grappling with the consequences of his actions and seeing the impact it has on his family.
The music was absolutely dreamy and had me feeling a wide array of emotions. “If I Loved You” sung by James Snyder (Billy Bigelow) and Teal Wicks (Julie Jordan) made my heart swell listening to these two characters “not” proclaim their love for each other. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Teal and Rebecca Eichenberger (Nettie Fowler) gave me goosebumps and had me in tears as they pour their heart out on stage once tragedy had struck.
Carousel is also unique for its dance numbers. Rather than having a traditional music overture to open it up, the show is brought to life with “The Carousel Waltz” which is a beautiful instrumental piece to introduce the characters and set the scene. All dancers involved in the opening had wonderful dancing skills which the audience could see throughout the play. Act Two has a dream ballet sequence in which Brianna Abruzzo (Louise) and company perform an elegant ballet performance that I haven’t stopped thinking about.
The musical numbers, dance numbers, and plot will have you rethinking what you know about forgiveness, love, and kindness. You’ll laugh, cry, and be in the for the ride of a lifetime. Billy Bigelow and the crew will be running Carousel through July 3 at the UC Davis Health Pavilion. Click here to learn more.