Photo Flash: In Rehearsal with Nicholas Rodriguez, Betsy Morgan and More for CAROUSEL at Arena Stage
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater presents Carousel, directed by Artistic Director Molly Smith, with music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Featuring Musical Direction by Paul Sportelli and Choreography by Parker Esse, Carousel runs October 28-December 24 in the iconic in-the-round Fichandler Stage. The company just had their first rehearsal and BroadwayWorld has photos below!
Named the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine, Carousel follows Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan through their journey of love, loss and redemption and soars with unforgettable songs including "If I Loved You," "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Smith has assembled a 27-member cast boasting 18 local performers. Carousel stars the previously announced audience favorites Nicholas Rodriguez (Arena's My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!) as Billy Bigelow, E. Faye Butler (Arena's Pullman Porter Blues, Oklahoma!) as Mrs. Mullin and Ann Arvia (Golde in Arena's Fiddler on the Roof) as Nettie Fowler. Betsy Morgan(Broadway's The King and I, LES MISERABLES) makes her Arena Stage debut as Julie Jordan, alongside the previously announced Kate Rockwell (Broadway's Rock of Ages, Bring It On: The Musical, Legally Blonde) portraying Julie's pal Carrie Pipperidge.
Carousel also features the return of Arena Stage veterans Kurt Boehm (Arena's Born for This, Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof) as Enoch Snow and Kyle Schliefer (Arena's Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof) as Jigger Craigin, and welcomes the debut of Skye Mattox (Broadway's West Side Story, On The Town) as Louise Bigelow.
The large cast also includes Jacob Beasley as Enoch Snow, Jr., Rayanne Gonzales as Mrs. Bascombe, Michael Graceffa as Carnival Boy, Thomas Adrian Simpson as David Bascombe and Stephawn Stephens as Captain. In the roles of the Starkeeper and Heavenly Friend, the company features two young local actors-13-year-old Nicole Wildy of Howard County, Maryland and 15-year-old Joshua Otten of Fauquier County, Virginia.
Rounding out the ensemble are Gracie Jones, Danielle Sue Jordan, Ethan Kasnett, Emma Sophie Moore, Tony Neidenbach (dance captain), Bridget Riley, Paul Scanlan, Jessica Wu and Phil Young, with swings Katie Arthur and Jay Westin and Heavenly Friend/Starkeeper u/s Isabella Brody.
Smith reunites with many of her creative collaborators for Carousel including Music Director Sportelli, who has created new arrangements for the 13-piece orchestra that will be seen on a visible, elevated level of the set, designed by Tony Award-winning Set Designer Todd Rosenthal. Choreographer Esse will create his signature athletic ensemble sequences paired with graceful ballets, and David Leong returns for Fight Choreography & Mime, along with Lighting Designer Keith Parham, Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi and Sound Designers Joshua Horvath and Ray Nardelli.
Photos courtesy Arena Stage
Cast members Isabella Brody and Nicole Wildy
Ilona Somogyi (Costume Designer), David Leong (Fight Choreography & Mime), Molly Smith (Director), Paul Sportelli (Music Director), Anita Maynard-Losh (Text Director), Lynn Watson (Dialect Coach) and Keith Parham (Lighting Designer)
The company at the first rehearsal of CAROUSEL at Arena Stage