Review Roundup: CAROUSEL At Media Theatre
CAROUSEL, a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, runs at the Media Theatre through October 22. The story tells of charming, roguish carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, and mill worker Julie Jordan, both loners, who meet and fall in love. Their marriage ends up costing both their jobs, and things go downhill from there. When Billy falls in with con-man Jigger Craigin, he ends up getting caught in the midst of an armed robbery and takes his own life. Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew.
The cast stars Joseph Spieldenner as Billy Bigelow, Maxwell Porterfield as Julie Jordan, Madalyn St. John as Carrie, Carl Smith as Jigger, Susan Mattson as Mrs. Mullins, Elisa Matthews as Nettie Fowler, George Slotin as Mr. Snow, Austy Hicks as Enoch Snow Jr/Ensemble, Jim Conte as Starkeeper, Beada Briglia as Louise, Kelly Briggs as Mr. Bascomb, and Willem Guenther as Carnival Boy.
The cast also includes Todd Berkich, Dante Brattelli, Madalaina D'Angelo, Sarah Jane Knoblich, Sam Nagel, Dana Orange, Maddy Pelesh, Kristin Smih, Liam Snead, Erika Wasko, Tasha Waters, Charlie Carrocclo, Zazhary Divito, Savannah Galloway, Mary Katherine Schwartz, Amanda Treston, Sutton Gold, Adrian Henry, Lauren McAlee, Drew Murphy, and Brynn Washbourne.
CAROUSEL is directed by Jesse Cline, with music direction by Ben Kapilow, and choreography by Dann Dunn.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Neal Newman, DC Metro Theatre Arts: Joseph Spieldenner and Maxwell Porterfield sing Billy and Julie with thrilling purity. Spieldenner is a comely rogue who exudes self-confidence and macho intensity. Porterfield is a naive waif willing to give up anything to be with her charismatic man...The ensemble deserves special mention. Back in the day of the original production, singers were separate from the august Agnes de Mille dancers, and they fled to the sidelines as the dancing commenced. Here the ensemble are both superior singers and dancers, as is currently expected in 21st Century musicals.
Pati Buehler, BroadwayWorld: The biggest asset is a stellar cast. Digging deep to assure the production is solid Media's principles welcome from Broadway, Joseph Spieldenner(Company, Les Miz and South Pacific) as the misguided barker Billy Bigelow. Making her Media debut as Julie Jordan is Maxwell Porterfield whose seasoned soprano is stunning!
Photo: Greg Carroccio