Glorious songs, a postcard New England seaside setting and a spiritually uplifting story of love and redemption have kept Carousel among the most beloved American musicals ever created.
Homestead High School will stage the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece Feb 6-9 at the James Barr Auditorium.
While the songs of Carousel — including “If I Loved You” and the hymn-like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — have endured for their richness and quality, director Amelia Figg-Franzoi says it’s their emotional complexity that takes the show to another level and makes it a deeply rewarding audience experience.
“The characters in Carousel are imperfect people; they are human and living in a difficult time and place,” she says. “Love and passion, abuse and disappointment are important and relevant topics to address as are faith, forgiveness and enduring to the end, and each of those topics is a part of the show. Carousel is a powerfully written story with multifaceted characters and a storyline that stands the test of time with its relevance and universal truths.”
Love unspoken, feelings unexpressed, frustration and death are not the usual components of a musical play, yet these are themes Homestead High School doesn’t shy away from exploring.
“We particularly select shows this season with powerful messages that may be challenging,” Figg-Franzoi says. “With its inspirational story of life and death, Carousel is the perfect choice to be included in our Theatre for Social Justice season, and it’s a show that hasn’t had a major production in nearly a decade. Audiences will relate to the themes of redemption and faith.”
Figg-Franzoi notes that Time magazine hailed Carousel as “the best musical of the 20th century,” and while the musical premiered in 1945, the New York Times called it “still the freshest, most innovative musical, also the most beautiful!”
“The themes of repentance and redemption make the show memorable and poignant, but they are balanced by joyful songs like ‘June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,’ the ‘When I Marry Mr. Snow’ love song and the wistful ‘When the Children Are Asleep,’ ” she says. “Each of the songs of Carousel is a classic, and audiences may not be aware they all came from a single Broadway musical.”
If you go
Where: James Barr Auditorium 5000 W. Mequon Rd. Mequon WI 53092
When: Feb 6-9 Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m, including a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
How much: $8-$10