Nathan Gunn, Kelli O’Hara Headline Telecast of
New York Philharmonic’s Carousel
By: Ellis Nassour
On Friday at 9 P.M. PBS Live From Lincoln Center presents the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed concert production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s iconic musical, Carousel, featuring a dream cast of top caliber singers and actors. Nathan Gunn and Kelli O’Hara headline as star-crossed lovers carnival barker Billy Bigelow and New England mill worker Julie Jordan.
The award-winning 1945 work, which has had several revivals, was adapted from Molnár’s 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to Maine. Time hailed it "the best musical of the 20th Century." The original production ran just short of 900 performances. Rodgers claimed it was his favorite.
Billy and Julie’s romance comes at a tragic price, after he commits a robbery. A secondary plotline deals with the romance between millworker Carrie Pipperidge and fisherman Enoch Snow, portrayed by golden-voiced Jessie Mueller and Jason Danieley. Co-starring are John Cullum as the Starkeeper, Stephanie Blythe, Shuler Hensley, Kate Burton, and NYC Ballet’s Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck.
Audra McDonald, who won her first Tony for her Carrie in LCT’s much-acclaimed 1994 revival, hosts the telecast. John Rando directs, with Rob Fisher as music director. Warren Carlyle choreographed the Act II pas de deux ballet. The musical includes such now-classic songs as "If I Loved You," "June Is Bustin’ Out All Over," and "You’ll Never Walk Alone."
Live From Lincoln Center is made possible by a grant from MetLife, with additional support from Movado, the Robert Wood Johnson 1962 Charitable Trust, Thomas H. Lee and Ann Tenenbaum, and the Robert and Renée Belfer Family Foundation.