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BWW Review: [TITLE OF SHOW] at Carousel Theatre Of Indianola


An entertaining look at the process of writing a show. Now on stage through August 22.

BWW Review: [TITLE OF SHOW] at Carousel Theatre Of Indianola

It's been over a year since Carousel has been over a year since Carousel Theatre of Indianola has been able to welcome an audience. While Covid may have put live performances on hold, Carousel has adjusted and tried new things during the pandemic. Last fall, they held a Cabaret of musical theatre favorites and had a jazzy evening of love songs around Valentine's Day. This summer, they filmed all five shows that were part of the Writers Project they held during the pandemic. Now they are ready to open their doors again with "[Title of Show]." The show opened on August 13th and was the perfect show to welcome the musical theatre lovers in all of us back to the theatre.

If you are unfamiliar with [Title of Show], it tells the story of Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers, who decide to enter the New York Musical Theatre Festival. They decide that the show will be their story of writing this show. With a short deadline of 3 weeks to write this musical, they enlist the help of their friends Susan and Heidi to help them with this project. When the show succeeds at the festival, their friendship is put to the test as they decide if they should go to Broadway or not. Do they get to Broadway with their relationships in tack? That you will have to attend the show to find out.

Carousel returns to the stage with a nontraditional production, and that is a good thing. If it weren't, they would probably find a way to put it in the show. The production is under the direction of Alex Lindsley, who last directed Carousel's triumphant production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." He took on this idea of taking a nontraditional route to the show. This can be seen in the four chair set and the choice to have a female in the role of Hunter. By choosing to take away the spectacle seen in some shows, Alex's nontraditional choices allowed the show's focus to be on the fantastic script that the audience could see come alive on stage.

One of the things I've loved about being involved with shows with Carousel in the past is the camaraderie that comes from being part of the cast of their shows. With this show, the connection is essential with the cast as the audience needs to believe that no matter what comes up, these friends will be able to stick together. Part of the show's humor comes from how the cast so fluently goes from being part of the show to breaking the fourth wall and returning to the show. This can only be done with a cast that has the tightly knit connection friends do.

Leading the cast in the roles of Jeff and Hunter, the show's writers are Jay Jacobson and Andra Peeler. Both do an exceptional job from the top of the show of pulling the audience into accepting that these four chairs will make up the apartment they are writing the show in and any other place they might need to be. The simple gesture of pulling a chair across the stage, and the bickering that ensues after, needs a duo that has excellent timing, which they both do.

Joining them in the roles of the friends Heidi and Susan are Morgan Darrow and Michelle Vaudrin. While the humor about the previous duo is all about timing, Darrow's and Vaudrin's comes from the delivery of their lines and songs. Each of them delivering them beautifully. They both were heavily featured in some of my favorite songs from the show, Vaudrin in "Die Vampire Die" and Darrow in "A Way Back to Then."

After a year of virtual productions, it is so refreshing to get to return to do one of my favorite things again, sitting in a theatre, getting to relax, laugh, have the heartstrings tugged, and watch a live performance. This production does all of those things. Carousel's production of [Title of Show] runs one more weekend, August 20-22. Tickets are available at the door. To find out more about this production, visit [Title of Show] - Carousel Theatre of Indianola

Upcoming Productions
"And Then There Were None"
October 23-31, 2021

Next to Normal
March 18-27, 2022

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
July 15-24, 2022

Review was written by DC Felton
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