LONG WHARF THEATER – CAROUSEL

By Bob & Karen Isaacs

BOB: Well, Karen, Long Wharf Theater in New Haven has opened a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and it’s a little thin I thought; it’s almost a chamber production.

KAREN: This is done by many of the people who did Long Wharf’s Man of La Mancha last year, the Court Theater of Chicago. The director is their artistic director and many of the performers are members of the company. I think it did lose a little bit in the reduction.

BOB: Carousel is a big show.

KAREN: Many, many things I liked a great deal about this production.

BOB: And let me say this first of all. Go to see it; you will not be disappointed.

KAREN: Particularly if you like Carousel or if you’ve never seen it. It is well worth seeing. I can’t rave about it, I can find quibbles with it.

BOB: The night we saw it Nicholas Belton who plays Billy Bigelow was having some vocal problems.

KAREN: He either had a cold or allergies.

BOB: He worked his way through the difficulties.

KAREN: But his voice that night was not what it probably is. But I think one of the things about this production is that the cast is made up of people who are actors and actresses first and singers second. That caused some of the lyricism of the music to be lost. Even the orchestra in the introduction – the beautiful “Carousel Waltz” was lost.

BOB: And I didn’t understand some of the choreography during that.

KAREN: There are some fine performances.

BOB: I liked Jessie Mueller who played Carrie Pipperidge

KAREN: and I liked Rob Lindley who played Enoch Snow. It’s funny, Ernestine Jackson who played Nettie the older friend and has some of the big songs “June is bustin’ out all over” and “You’ll never walk alone” – I didn’t care for how the music was presented.

BOB: I didn’t mind that but I don’t have your sensitivity to that.

KAREN: I’m picky.

BOB: But it is a fine show and you will enjoy it.

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