Our theatre season opened with the Civic Light-Opera company’s production of Carousel, the Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II musical based on Ferenc Molnar’s Liliom. It opened on Broadway in 1945 and ran for 890 performances (less than half of Oklahoma). The musical was called the “best of the Century,” by Time Magazine. And when one sees the list of songs, from If I Loved You, June is Bustin’ Out All Over, A Real Nice Clambake, What’s the Use of Wond’rin, You’ll Never Walk Alone, and the most powerful song ever in a musical, “Soliloquy,” one can only hope they have found the voices to carry this musical. And in this case, they definitely have, Joe Cascone as Billy, Caroline Moro-Dalicandro as Carrie and Finne Jesson as Julie. We saw a production a few years back by the Scarborough Music Theatre and unfortunately the casting of Billy let the entire performance down. This is NOT a happy musical, but has a great story in spite of its dark tones. Rodgers and Hammerstein went on to write South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, and a few “failures” like Allego, Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream. Rodgers considered Carousel his personal favourite.
We were so lucky to have witnessed the ultimate version of “Soliloquy” by Hugh Jackman in Concert at the Princess of Wales a few weeks back.