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Arts & EventsTake a Ride on the Carousel

Take a Ride on the Carousel

Take a Ride on the Carousel

There’s nothing like a Rodgers and Hammerstein show to pick you up when you're feeling low, waiting for a summer that never arrives. You can’t help but feel better after the singing and dancing and upbeat music. Orpheus Theatre’s current production of Carousel is a definite crowd-pleaser and is playing at Centrepointe Theatre until June 9.

The first half drags a bit (through no fault of the actors) but it sets the stage for the second half that moves quicker, all the while grabbing your heart strings.

Billy Bigelow, a wild sort of character, works at the carousel, much to the glee of all the girls. He meets Julie and Carrie who work at the local mill. Julie and Billy connect and ditch their jobs in the throes of romance and get married.  Unhappy times ensue while Carrie, betrothed to ambitious Enoch Snow, ends up blissfully happy.

carousel1231Broke, Billy gets hooked up with bad-boy Jigger and the two plot to rob the mill owner. The plot goes horribly awry and Billy dies. He can’t get into heaven but has the chance to redeem himself and comes back to earth 15 years later and sees his daughter Louise and wife Julie. He makes good with them before heading to heaven.  That is the basic plot but there other subplots, like Carrie and Enoch’s love and success story and, in the second half, relations between Louise and Enoch Jr.

It is an elaborate production with a full ensemble and that alone is impressive. What’s even more mind-blowing is the fact that everyone involved does it to celebrate their passion for acting, singing and dancing. All cast, tech crew, prop and set builders are volunteers. A lot of love went into the production.

The set and the costumes set the mood well and the music (provided by a full orchestra) is magical. No doubt you will recognize some of the songs. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over, If I Loved You and You’ll Never Walk Alone are some of the more well-known pieces.

While the music will entertain and have you tapping your foot to the beat, there is also a lot of talent on stage. The lead actors/singers are all fabulous. Susanna Atkinson (Carrie) has the voice of an angel. She is bouncy and bubbly and has a fantastic stage presence, as does Kodi Cannon (Enoch), whose singing voice is also striking. Bianca Pietracupa (Julie) is another bright spot of the show.

Brennan Richardson (Billy Bigelow) combines charisma with the bad-boy quality of the first-act Billy and yet is equally convincing as the endearing and more humble Billy who seeks redemption in the second half. He brings Billy to life in every way, whether in song, dance or acting.

7:30 p.m. nightly with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. http://orpheus-theatre.ca  

 

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