¬†¬† 06 /28/12 ¬†In 1999, Time Magazine called Carousel ‚Äėthe greatest musical of the 20th century.‚Äô¬† On July 4-14, the Wagon Wheel Theatre celebrates this timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.¬† Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Broadway‚Äôs pioneers, accumulated 34 Tonys, 15 Academy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and two Grammys.¬† Carousel is considered their crowning achievement.
Carousel takes place in a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the na√Įve millworker, Julie Jordan.¬† Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant.¬† Desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery.¬† Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‚Äúup there.‚ÄĚ¬† Billy is permitted to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew.¬† She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father‚Äôs reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life.¬† How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.¬† It‚Äôs easy to understand why, of all the shows they created, Carousel was Rodger‚Äôs and Hammerstein‚Äôs personal favorite.
¬†¬† The show is provocative and profound, deeply moving and transcends generations; what live theater is all about.¬† Come see it with someone you love. Tickets range from $16-$34.¬† Discounts are available for college students and on designated performances¬† for seniors.¬† For more information visit wagonwheeltheatre.org or call 574-267-8041.
Pictured: ¬†Katie Yokom (Julie Jordan) and Matthew Janisse (Billy Bigelow)