Monday, April 29, 2013


This is the worst musical in the world next to Cats.
I had the pleasure of viewing Carousel last night on PBS Live from the Lincoln Center. 
First let me tell you the good parts about this God awful musical;

1. The actors. I have always been a big Kelli O'Hara fan and was happy to hear that she would be the lead in this musical. The rest of the actors were also great and I'm almost positive Jessie Mueller is going to get more work after this, but it's hard to realize that these people are wonderful when their characters are so effing stupid.

2. The New York Philharmonic.
That is it. These are literally the only good parts about this musical.

The Characters
Julie Jordan- An idiot girl who needs some sense knocked into her head. 
Billy Bigelow- He is a stupid jerk ass and his last name is a brand of tea.
Mrs.Mullin- Some whore who owns a carousel .
Carrie Pipperidge- Stupid girl who's only goal in life is to become married.
Enoch Snow- Enoch is a stupid name and the guy is an asshat.
Nettie Fowler- Annoying and stupid lady.
Jigger Craigin- Idiot guy who loves being an idiot. Oh and God help the man who ever names his child Jigger.
Louise- Julie and Billy's daughter. Just like her parents, the character turns out to be an idiot. 


Audra Mcdonald tells the viewers about what the musical is about and we are then brought to the Lincoln Center where the New York Philharmonic play a long, and by long I mean a REALLY REALLY long overture called The Carousel Waltz before we get into the show. To imagine how long the overture is just remember the intermission for Gone With the Wind then subtract any fun aspect the music might have and add 5 or so more minutes.

After that is over we see two girls run onstage. Now I know this doesn't happen in every production if ANY but what irritated me was that when Jessie Mueller ran onstage it was quiet but as soon as Kelli O'Hara showed up the audience started applauding like crazy. Yes, Kelli is amazing and everyone who's seen or heard her in anything knows that. However applauding for one person when there are two on stage is ridiculously rude. But anyways-

We then meet Mrs. Mullin who is the owner of the carousel.She comes out spouting nonsense and being insanely pissed about these two girls riding on her carousel and how if she better not catch Julie near her carousel again because it's completely Julie's fault that her carousel barker (Billy) touched her for a second then put his arm around her waist. SCANDALOUS BITCH. 

Billy then comes out and the first words out of his mouth "OH SHUT UP" what a great guy! He interrupts this argument like a little jerk then says Julie can come back any time she wants, and adds that if she can’t pay, he’ll pay for a ride for her. Mrs. Mullin is all like "I own the carousel and I'm the boss. You are an idiot. You're bounced." (which is a fancy way of saying fired in this musical.)

Billy's response is something along the lines of ; What the hell ever. I'm too cool for this job yo. He then tells the girls "Don't feel sorry for me or I'll make you regret it." 
Julie is then all flustered and says "You quit your job for meeeeee?!?!?" Uh no Julie dear he was fired. Big difference. 
Billy then goes back to the carousel to get his things. He tells Julie and Carrie to wait until he gets back so they can have a drink.
Carrie then starts singing "You're a Queer One Julie Jordan" which is definitely a show opener song in this day and age. 0_o
After that song not even a minute later we have to hear a 5 or so minute song about Carrie's secret engagement to Mr. Snow and how she pretty much can't wait to bang him. Lovely.

Billy then comes back and this conversation pursues;

BILLY: “You still here?”
CARRIE: “You told us to wait for you.”
BILLY: “Well, what did you think I wanted with two of you? I meant that one of you was to wait. The other can go home.”

The audience laughed at this. How is this funny? It just shows that Billy is an even bigger jerk then he was 15 minutes ago! Carrie then leaves after Julie is all "TEHHEHEHEHE Billy is soooo dreamy!" Billy being his usual jerk self decided to tell Julie that he can get all the girls he wants. Great way to get a girl to love you Billy! 

‘Carousel’ at Lincoln Center — Nathan Gunn

Julie’s boss then shows up to take Julie home and forgives her for missing curfew. A policeman shows up with the boss and informs Julie of Billy’s record. Julie,being an idiot, decided to ignore mr. policeman and her boss and stays with the idiot Bigelow guy despite the fact that every red flag that has been given to her so far shows that Billy is a freaking loser!  

The two then sit on a bench and start singing about what would happen if they loved one another. It is the longest and most boring song in the history of musical theatre and I seriously almost fell asleep through it. The two  kiss for some reason and that's the end of the 30 minutes of a scene that I wasted my life over. 
We are then taken to a restaurant or something where Carrie shows up again and some other people are getting ready for a clambake. The only part about this I can remember is there are some extras that keep on singing;
"Give it to em' good Carrie give it to em' good!" 
I swear if I have to ever hear this again I will hang myself in a shower and I'm not even kidding. 

Nettie, the owner of whatever this is shows up and starts singing about how June is Bustin' Out All Over and everyone is super happy about it being June. That is the only point in this song; it is June. 

This scene perfectly displays that there is absolutely no reason for extras in this musical. The only reason the extras are there is because they have to sing the background vocals for some tremendously terrible songs.

In the next scene Julie shows up (after a month or so after being married to Billy) and starts telling Carrie that Billy is still not working and is hanging out with his friend Jailbird Jigger, and that he is still basically a loser. But she is okay with that. Then we get to the best part of the musical.
Julie: "He (indicating Billy) hit me."
Carrie: Did you hit him back?

This is the only part of the musical where I like a main character. Right on Carrie! 
Julie is then tells Carrie "He hit me but it didn't hurt!!! He's unhappy because he ain't workin. That's why he hit me!"
That makes sense! We will continue to hear about Billy being an abusive ass during the rest of the musical. 

Carrie then tells the extras and Julie that she is engaged to Mr. Snow and sings the reprise of the same song she sang before. We are then introduced to none other than Mr. Snow who just so happened to appear while Carrie was singing about him. What a coincidence! Mr. Snow's entrance tells us everything we need to know about him.
1. He's conceded and thinks he's the best person in the world.
2. He's annoying 
3. He's an idiot

About 5 minutes later Billy shows up and like usual, is a complete jerk and is rude to Mr. Snow who offered to shake his hand. Then again, Snow also wanted to talk about his chest cold so that could be a reason as to why Billy didn't wish to associate with him. Billy also threatens to hit Julie again. What a wonderful husband! He then tells us that "He ain't going to no clambake" which is a metaphor for "I refuse to be seen in public with my wife who I just happen to hit every so often."

Billy and Julie leave the stage so we are left with Carrie and ENOCH (Mr. Snow) who thinks it wise to question Billy's lifestyle choices then proceeds to sing a song bragging about how he will accomplish everything he wants to do in life and how he plans to get Carrie pregnant 8 or so times. Carrie by the way  has no say in any of this but obviously has feelings about children.

After that catastrophe of a scene we are brought to some place where Billy and Jigger sing a song with some extras for no reason other than to get the extras a paycheck. Oh and to tell the audience their plans of ROBBERY. Jigger wants himself and Billy to ROB  the mill owner for some money. I'm not sure about Billy, but in Jigger's case he better believe he's going back to jail once his parole officer finds out about this scheme.

Mrs. Mullin's comes back into the picture and offers to give Billy his job back. The only way she'll accept him back though is if he leaves Julie. Billy says "he'll think about it" which is messed up in so many ways. Mrs. Mullin tries to have a conversation with this loser when out of nowhere she says that "You beat her." Billy's response?

Julie comes out of her house when Billy is thinking about leaving her and tells him that she's pregnant.  Oooh now we're getting somewhere! What a twist that came out of absolute thin air.

Billy goes back to Mrs. Mullin and does the only responsible thing he ever does in this musical and decides to stay with Julie to support their kid. Although when you look at it in another light, Billy just declined the one and only job offer he will ever get so once again Billy is somewhat of an idiot. 

Mrs.Mullin laughs at Billy about how he's going to become a father which leads to Billy almost strangling her dramatically.
We then have to hear Billy sing a 10 minute long song about his soon to be son who he will name Bill. Not like Julie get's any choice in naming the child or anything because as we all know, the father is the one who has to go through excruciating labour pains! He then comes to the realization that the child might not be a boy after about 8 minutes. 
You can have fun with a son
But you gotta be a father to a girl

So if it's a boy he doesn't have to take on any responsibilities. If it's a girl he's screwed! 

After the song is over Billy agrees to help Jigger rob someone so he can support his child. I can think of a million better ways to help support a child, robbing someone is not even on the list. 

Oh and remember when Billy said "I ain't going to no clambake." Well he's going now so he can use that as an alibi when he and Jigger have to run from the cops because their robbing plan is bound to go terribly wrong.

End of ACT I.

Now if you are still reading this and are on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens in the next and final act, here you go!

Act II opens with everyone in the cast at the clambake. Singing about the clambake. Originally the song "A Real Nice Clambake" was written for Oklahoma! as "A Real Nice Hayride." Either way though the song should have just been burned so it could never see the light of day. By far this is the worst song in the musical. I wanted to go outside, get a rock, and throw it at my TV every time these people sang the chorus.
However I could see a ton of the extras faces and in their mind you can tell that they were thinking "This isn't worth it."

Once the song ends, Nettie tells everyone that "They all will clean up the mess they made" before the men can go on the treasure hunt. I'm wondering since when did this lady have the power to tell everyone what to do? I would have thrown something at her, like a rock. And why can't the woman go on a treasure hunt? Are they not pirate-y enough? Can woman not be good at treasure hunting? That's screwed up. When I was forced to go to camp when I was younger my cabin had to go on a "treasure hunt" and find 5 counselors. We found 6. And we all just so happened to be a girls.

But anyways, Billy starts telling Jigger about how he has a knife under his coat for the robbery which everyone watching already knows considering he makes it pretty obvious that he has a knife hidden at the end of Act I. Billy then leaves and the only two people left onstage are Carrie and Jigger.

Jigger stars making a move on Carrie for some unknown reason considering the two haven't even spoken before this. Carrie tells Jigger that he better get his damn hands off of her cuz she be a happily engaged woman! Jigger tells Carrie that he will teach her how to defend herself then picks her up. Enoch happens to find this unacceptable and tells Carrie that he can't marry a woman who is "loose, free, and lollygagging" LOLLYGAGGING. Now there's a word I haven't heard in a long time.

Carrie then stars breaking down and crying while Enoch sings about Geraniums in the Winder. Once again this is not Rogers&Hammerstein's best work.The song tells us how Enoch is feeling sorry for himself (even though he's the one who called the marriage off because another guy touched Carrie in a non-provocative manner.) Carrie continues to cry while Enoch keeps pushing her away from him while basically calling her a tramp. Enoch is too virtuous a man to touch you Carrie!

Jigger looks like he's about to punch Enoch in the face for being so stupid, but instead of something hilarious like that happening we get to listen to a song which repeats the phrase 
Stonecutters cut it on stone
Woodpeckers peck it on wood
What does that even mean?!?!?!? If anyone can tell me what that means I will buy them a croissant or something. 
Carrie then tells Enoch to say "Say something soft and sweet" to her.  The actor who plays Enoch in this production took a long dramatic pause then said "Boston Cream Pie" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's a rib buster! 

^Boston Cream Pie is hilarious! Just look at it!

After that nonsense the treasure hunt begins! Nettie tells them that the team that finds the treasure get to kiss any girl they want! Knowing this musical that sounds like a wonderful prize considering the treasure would probably only be something like CLAMS or a SHINY NICKER instead of real gold or something that could be beneficial to get anyone off this stage.

Julie goes up to Billy and tells him that "Pairing up with Jigger is a foolish mistake because neither of them know the island very well." Being Billy's usual jerk self he completely disregards his wife's advice because he has other plans. Like robbery.

Once the guys all leave all of the girl extras tell Carrie that marriage sucks and that she's better off being a free woman. Julie comes in and we have to hear the damn reprise of Tell it to em'good! only this time it's towards Julie. Julie tells Carrie that marriage is awesome and that if you love someone it doesn't matter if they are a stupid moron. 

Billy and Jigger come into the scene for some unknown reason where Julie tells Billy that she wants to go with them and feels the knife under Billy's coat. How do you think Billy responds to this? If you guessed "be an abusive idiot" you're correct! He says; 
"I got no time to fool with woman! OUT OF MY WAY" then roughly pushes Julie out of his way. She's lucky she didn't fall down. Oh and how do the extras respond to seeing Billy being an abusive jackass? If you guessed "be an idiot" you're right again! The extras tell Julie that even though Billy's a jerk she should still love him. This is the worst advice ever!

The lighting for the stage grows dark and we are shown Billy and Jigger, both who are waiting for the mill owner to arrive so they can rob him, or I'm sorry MURDER him. It went from robbery to murder. This should go over well.

The mill owner shows up and Billy asks for the time while Jigger sneaks up behind him. The mill owner is on to their bullshit and pulls a Jackie Chan style move on Jigger and pulls a gun on Billy. The mill owner is my all time favorite character in this musical. The mill owner is like "You wanted to know what time it is. I'll tell you what the time for you will be. 10 or 12 years in prison." Bwahaha. Mr. mill owner you are awesome! 
Jigger runs away and the police show up. Billy decides to do the only logical thing to help his child now and stabs himself. The mill owner says that Billy's "a fool" and that he didn't have the money anyways so Billy did this for absolutely nothing. 

The rest of the clam-bakers show up to the scene at this time. Julie is sad because Billy is pretty much going to die. She tells him how much she loves him despite the fact that he just left her with no money and no support for her unborn child. 

Nettie shows up and her and Julie start singing You'll Never Walk Alone which is honestly a wonderful song and one of R&H's best. Mrs. Mullin's also appears out of nowhere and gives her condolences. 

You thought that was the end? Think again!

Some guy who we've never seen before comes onstage and starts talking to Billy. At this point Billy get's up from his dead position and starts walking around while Julie and Nettie are continuing to grieve. The guy who just showed up tells him that he needs to come along to be judged. Billy, being his usual self says that "IF I'M GONNA BE JUDGED I'LL BE JUDGED BEFORE GOD HIMSELF." Because you totally deserve that right Billy. The new guy on stage takes Billy to the Starkeeper (played by John Cullum) who has some kind of power in heaven. The Starkeeper tells Billy that because someone on earth remembers him, he can go back to earth for ONE DAY and if he accomplishes to do one good thing he will be able to go to heaven. 

At this point in time Billy's daughter is now a 15 year old troubled girl. Billy comes back to earth because he reaally wants to go to heaven and watches as his daughter Louise (played by Tiler Peck) perfroms a ballet dance which shows us that she's lonely and that the other kids bully her because her father was an abusive ass. I actually enjoyed this part of the show for some reason, even if it did go on for 10 minutes but there really was no point in including a ballet number. 

Julie and Carrie come onstage after Billy decides it would be wise to help his daughter in some way. Basically the only thing we learn from Julie and Carrie is that a graduation is coming up and Carrie has 9 children, all of whom were helped made by Enoch. Enoch and Enoch Jr. arrive on the scene as Carrie is being SCANDALOUS by imitating a show she saw the other night. Enoch Jr. stays behind and tells  Louise that he is going to marry her to stop her from joining an acting troupe, but his father probably won't approve. Louise thinks Enoch Jr. is almost as bad as his father and orders him to go away.

Billy, watching the scene unfold, becomes visible (apparently he can become visible/invisible whenever he wants), scares the bejesus out of Louise, then starts telling her a story about how he was a friend of her fathers and starts bragging about what a wonderful person her father was. You want to know what else Billy is? A trespasser! 

Billy then presents Louise with a gift, a star he stole from the starkeeper. Louise, thinking this guy is off his rocker, refuses the star. Billy, being the typical Billy, then hits her. Next stop: HELL. You can't be stealing stars from someone in power then hitting your daughter. 

Louise runs inside to get Julie. Julie then runs outside and because Billy doesn't want to face her non-existent wrath he becomes invisible again.
This conversation then happens. 
Louise: Is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you hard like that - real loud and hard, and it not hurt you at all?
Julie: It is possible dear, for someone to hit you, hit you hard, and it not hurt at all.

WTH. I am appalled by this in so many ways. 
Julie and Billy then sing a song which I can't remember much of because I'm still trying to watch this musical without smashing my TV because these characters are such freaking idiots.

The graduation ceremony begins and the Starkeeper, posing as some doctor gives some pretty good advice to the future generation. 
" I can't tell you any sure way to happiness. I only know that you've gotta go out and find it for yourselves. You can't lean on the success of your parents. That's their success. And don't be held back by their failures."

Billy, still invisible, whispers to Louise to believe the doctor guy. We hear a reprise of "You'll Never Walk Alone" being sung by everyone at this graduation. Louise is now accepted by everyone. Billy whispers into Julie's ear that he loves her then walks into heaven.


My opinion

This is one messed up show. I obviously disliked a lot of it. There is no character redemption at the end and for some reason Billy get's to go to heaven for doing NOTHING. Oh wait, he did do something. He beat his wife and hit his daughter and was going to kill someone for some money! Not to mention he became a thief while he was in the afterlife.

In the Hungarian version of this musical, Liliom, Billy get's sent to Purgatory then goes to hell after hitting his daughter. I would have enjoyed this ending much better!

However once again I must stress is that all of these actors are amazing even with these sucky characters. Nathan Gunn (Billy) had a fantastic voice in this, which he should considering he's a professionally trained opera singer. I thought Kelli O' Hara was absolutely brilliant in The Light in the Piazza, The Pajama Game, and Dracula. I have heard Jessie Mueller's (Carrie) name before and she was terrifically fantastic with what she had to deal with here. Jason Danieley (Enoch Snow) I thought was alright. I had to do some looking around considering I had no idea who he was but I have actually heard him before. He was in the musical Floyd Collins, which most people have never heard of but I thought it was a great musical.

Oh well, you can't like all musicals even if you are a theatre major.

I'm thinking about writing a review about a musical every Monday if I can. No promises yet though. It's just something I think would be fun to do. 

Hope you liked reading this! =)

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