Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE KING & I and CAROUSEL Now Available in Libretto Library
The Applause Libretto Library Applause Books has selected, and continues to select, the most important and the most popular musicals, including The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, Cinderella, Avenue Q, The Last Five Years, Memphis, and more. Visit applausebooks.com for the complete list. Perfect for reading like novels, the Applause Libretto Library has revived the tradition of publishing great Broadway musicals in editions intended to be read and savored.
The King and I and Carousel have now been added to the Libretto Library.
The King and I opened on Broadway on March 29, 1951. The musical is based on a 1944 novel by Margaret Landon, Anna and the King of Siam, which in turn was adapted from the real-life reminiscences of Anna Leonowens, as recounted in her own books, The English Governess at the Siamese Court and The Romance of the Harem.
It is 1862 in Siam when Leonowens, and English widow, arrives with her young son at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna's assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another in a truly unique love story. Along with the dazzling score, the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet The Small House of Uncle Thomas is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.
Dubbed "the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine, Carousel is set in a Maine coa tal village toward the end of the 19th century, where swaggering, carefree carnival barker Billy Bigelow captivates and marries naive millworker Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant, and - 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 "up there." Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day 15 years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father's reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills a sense of hope and dignity in both the child and her mother is a dramatic testimony to the power of love. It's easy to understand why, of all the shows they created, Carousel was Rodgers and Hammerstein's personal favorite.
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