Thursday, August 14, 2008


Yes, Carousel. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Actually, my favorite musical of all time. Something set me off thinking about Carousel lately and I actually got out my DVD of snippets from the Royal National Theatre tour featuring (naturally) Patrick Wilson and Brett Rickaby and played it yesterday, especially "Blow High, Blow Low" and "Soliloquy." I was feeling sorry for myself and needed a quick pick me up (OK, what about a musical based on wife beating and suicide doesn't sound cheery to you?) so of course, I went for Carousel. Last night, I turned on a show featuring Shirley Jones who was talking about "If I Loved You" being Richard Rodgers' favorite song (mine too but I didn't write it). And then tonight, after I watched "How Do I Look," I channel surfed into a show about Broadway and there was the late John Raitt, singing the aforementioned "Soliloquy." Now I know this is tantamount to sacrilege in some circles, but I always thought Patrick Wilson was the best Billy Bigelow ever and of course, Brett Rickaby's Jigger far surpasses performances by Mervyn Vye, Jerry Orbach, and Cameron Mitchell.

Snipped from Wikipedia:

1996/1997 U.S. national tour

The London/Broadway production -- directed by Hytner, choreographed by MacMillan, and produced by the Royal National Theatre -- toured the U.S. for fifteen months. This was the first national exposure for Patrick Wilson, who played Billy Bigelow. Other cast members who eventually went on to Broadway and film careers include Sarah Uriarte Berry, Jennifer Laura Thompson and Brett Rickaby.

I think the whole world knows that my friend, Lyn, and I hopped on that merry-go-round twelve years ago (!!!) and are still riding the ponies, hoping for that brass ring!

Anyway, it always seems that when my life hits a low point (as it did this week, believe me) Carousel, in true merry-go-round fashion, comes 'round again to comfort me (but I really doubt anyone will ever top the RNT tour of 1996/1997):

2008 West End revival

A revival of Carousel is scheduled to open at the Savoy Theatre in London on December 2, 2008, starring Jeremiah James as Billy Bigelow, Alexandra Silber as Julie Jordan, and Lesley Garrett as Nettie Fowler. Previews at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley from 26 September.

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