It’s Double Take December at Musical Cyberspace! Every musical pretty much has something one likes and something one doesn’t in it. This month I’ll be listing one of each for a range of musicals, a different one each day.
Something I Like: With only one exception, the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s score is brilliant. “The Carousel Waltz” is a brilliant piece of musical dramatisation and the ‘Bench Scene’ is a perfect piece of musical theatre storytelling. Agnes De Mille’s stunningly beautiful pas de deux for Louise and the carnival boy in Act II is simply phenomenal, one of the high points in all musical theatre dance.
Something I Don’t Like: There is a great deal about Jigger’s throughline that isn’t fully realised, both musically and dramatically. As such, I’m not particularly enamoured with “Blow High, Blow Low” or scenes like the one with Carrie, which are broadly comic and undermine the character. Jud was far better handled by the pair in their Oklahoma! and highlighting the more menacing parts of Jigger would only have only highlighted the tragic ambiguities in Billy even further.
Feel free to share your “double take” on Carousel in the comment box!