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What would’ve made the current revival of carousel better?

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Call_me_jorge
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Since there’s one for Frozen I thought there should be one for Carousel.

I would just say they should’ve just brought over the lyric opera production.
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What would've fixed Carousel?#2
Posted: 5/16/18 at 10:59pm
I didn't love the Lyric Opera production either really.

They should have hired a better director. They just should've awaited to do this show until Sher was available. The show lacks any deep analysis and O'Brien seems to just flat out not understand the show. What he didn't understand, he just cut. The set is too whimsical and the whole production seems to be directed as a musical comedy. Carousel is a VERY dark show and the artwork on the marquee suggested that we were going to maybe get a darker interpretation of the material, which is what we needed in 2018. The casting is perfect, aside from Ramasar, who cannot act, and under better direction they could've given more focused performances.
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What would've fixed Carousel?#3
Posted: 5/16/18 at 11:03pm
A different director.
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What would've fixed Carousel?#4
Posted: 5/17/18 at 12:56am

A complete script would help.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#5
Posted: 5/17/18 at 1:14am

Yeah, the whole book being in it, different leads, and a completely different director would have helped things a bit.  

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What would've fixed Carousel?#6
Posted: 5/17/18 at 8:33am

A different director who actually has focus and a clear concept.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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What would've fixed Carousel?#7
Posted: 5/17/18 at 9:00am

Leaving the score and book intact would have been a good start. 

Basically just transferring the Goodspeed 2012 production would have been my ideal. 

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What would've fixed Carousel?#8
Posted: 5/17/18 at 9:13am

having an actual carousel on stage might have helped...

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What would've fixed Carousel?#9
Posted: 5/17/18 at 9:18am
Replace Jessie Mueller with Nathan Lane. Instant smash.
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What would've fixed Carousel?#10
Posted: 5/17/18 at 9:22am

Agree with all of the above (well, maybe not Nathan Lane as Julie--although that might be interesting). I wish Rudin had hired a director and choreographer who respected the material and didn't try to "improve" it. The script and song cuts were especially painful, and I thought the overlong "Hornpipe" number was a mistake. Yes, it was athletic and showy, but it added nothing to the drama.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#11
Posted: 5/17/18 at 10:15am

"You're a queer one, Julie Jordan."

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What would've fixed Carousel?#12
Posted: 5/17/18 at 10:43am

Someone in a Tree2, that made me laugh.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#13
Posted: 5/17/18 at 10:46am

Beach balls

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What would've fixed Carousel?#14
Posted: 5/17/18 at 11:14am

1.  A new production team, top to bottom:  a new director (George C. Wolfe and Sher and Sam Gold come to mind), a new choreographer (who stages a dream ballet where there are MINUTES of the dancers/cast just sitting around two tables???!!!), **A NEW SET DESIGNER**, and a new costume designer.   
(unrelated:  but I actually sat near George C Wolfe during this production and it made me LONG for his direction of Carousel.)


2.  A full-baked concept for the new production rather than the 1/3 baked production that we got.

3.  Jessie just didn't register at all for me as Julie.  At all.  It was probably half of the book being cut that did this but I couldn't help wishing she was playing Carrie and someone like Betsy Wolfe was playing Julie.

4.  I know I'm a rare person who feels this way but I didn't care for Mendez's Carrie.  I thought she was in a totally different show than everyone else on stage.  It's ALMOST as if she was given no real direction and went her own way.

5.  To be honest, recasting everyone except Henry as Billy.

6.  And I must stress again... a competent director.  O'Brien hasn't done anything of majesty in at least ten years.  He castrates this production and robs it of any chance of competence.  

7.  Have I mentioned the set?  Can I mention the set AGAIN?

8.  And the obvious suggestion of hiring a team that has respect for the material rather than the contempt for Carousel that seemed to be in their minds while going through the process of putting on this current production.  The cutting of songs?!  The cutting of at least 1/3rd of the book?  This isn't the Carousel that anyone wanted, this is a neutered Carousel that loses a lot of it's nuances and foundation.  
 

Broadway World's Fireman.
Updated On: 5/17/18 at 11:14 AM
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What would've fixed Carousel?#15
Posted: 5/17/18 at 11:15am

Like many, I only fleetingly felt any chemistry between Mueller and Henry.

A much stronger vision for the Waltz opening.

A Jigger who dances as well as Amar but can also act (making Amar go  mano a mano with Margaret Colin was cruel.)

Much stronger scenic design for the heaven scenes, and save them until after Billy dies.  The predestined or testing of fate approach to Billy's death didn't work for me.  And I had to wonder if the whole idea was to introduce John Douglas Thompson from the start to counterbalance the only other two principles of color being low life abusers.  

Most critically, the direction of the graduation scene was totally botched.  Billy is merely being spoonfed his speeches to Louise and Julie by the starkeeper/dr..   It doesn't come from him.  He's a puppet.  This is lethal to the show.  If we never feel that Billy's accountable for his redemption, than the whole trip has been for nothing.

Plusses:

Henry's singing.
Lindsey.
And the fact that in spite of everything, in many ways it's a better than the vastly overrated last revival (notwtihstanding how beautiful the Waltz was in that production and how brilliant Audra was).

Updated On: 5/17/18 at 11:15 AM
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What would've fixed Carousel?#16
Posted: 5/17/18 at 11:29am
B A R T S H E R .
JSquared2
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What would've fixed Carousel?#17
Posted: 5/17/18 at 2:20pm

I'd love to see what John Doyle could have done with the show.  I know he has his detractors here, but what he did with THE COLOR PURPLE was astonishing.  Please, NOT Wolfe (or Sher, who's had more than his fair share of attempts at the classic musical genre).

Updated On: 5/17/18 at 02:20 PM
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What would've fixed Carousel?#18
Posted: 5/17/18 at 2:23pm

^You of course mean John Doyle, right? Much as I adored THE COLOR PURPLE, I've seen multiple shows he's botched so I'm not sold on his hypothetical handling of CAROUSEL.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#19
Posted: 5/17/18 at 2:24pm

JSquared2 said: "I'd love to see what John Rando could have done with the show. I know he has his detractors here, but what he did with THE COLOR PURPLE was astonishing. Please, NOT Wolfe (or Sher, who's had more than his fair share of attempts at the classic musical genre)."

I think you mean John Doyle

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What would've fixed Carousel?#20
Posted: 5/17/18 at 2:25pm

RW3 said: "JSquared2 said: "I'd love to see what John Rando could have done with the show. I know he has his detractors here, but what he did with THE COLOR PURPLE was astonishing. Please, NOT Wolfe (or Sher, who's had more than his fair share of attempts at the classic musical genre)."

I think you mean John Doyle
"

Thanks, made the edit.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#21
Posted: 5/17/18 at 3:19pm

henrikegerman said: "Much stronger scenic design for the heaven scenes, and save them until after Billy dies. The predestined or testing of fate approach to Billy's death didn't work for me. "

I came into this production having (somehow) never seen a production of Carousel, and didn't really know anything about it other than a decent amount of the score, out of context. I had no idea there was a supernatural element, and I had to stop myself from saying a big WTF?! out loud when Billy killed himself and then suddenly was in heaven (or purgatory, or whatever). It made me think of that scene in Friends where Joey is in what appears to be a relatively normal, serious play, and then suddenly a UFO with a ladder appears and he says, "so I'm going to get on this spaceship..." It almost made me laugh, it was so out of left field. 

Anyway, the fact that the Starkeeper was in the show from the beginning is the one thing that made that plot element *sort of* make sense to me. Is he not it in in most productions? The supernatural stuff really comes out of nowhere most of the time? Huh? What am I missing? 

Also, interesting to read someone's comment that the Starkeeper doesn't normally feed Billy those lines at the end. That would make more sense, because my jaw was on the ground that somehow Billy comes back to earth, hits his daughter, and then... still goes to heaven? I'm getting that in most other productions we're supposed to find him redeemable and not the villain of the story? Is Julie supposed to be redeemable? Hell of a gorgeous score, but I'm still scratching my head at how this completely strange plot with awful characters is considered a masterpiece of American Musical Theatre. To each their own, I guess - I'm sure I'm in the minority here since it's obviously considered a classic for a reason.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#22
Posted: 5/17/18 at 4:06pm

JudyDenmark, indeed, in both Liliom and Carousel (as written), we see nothing of "the other side" until Billy's death.

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What would've fixed Carousel?#23
Posted: 5/17/18 at 4:18pm

Bring back Agnes de Mille's dances.

 

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What would've fixed Carousel?#24
Posted: 5/17/18 at 4:26pm

Nicholas Hytner. 

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What would've fixed Carousel?#25
Posted: 5/17/18 at 5:04pm

I wouldn't change a thing.  I thought it was a wonderful production.  




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