CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Acclaimed revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's 'Carousel' comes to UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Royal National Theatre of Great Britain's acclaimed
revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel" will come from
Broadway, where it won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, to the
University of Iowa for four performances -- at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24; 2 p.m.
and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 in Hancher Auditorium.
"Carousel" is the first event in Hancher's 1996-97 Parsons Technology
The new production features Tony Award-winning direction by Nicholas Hytner,
director of the film "The Crucible" which is now in wide release.
Hytner also directed "Miss Saigon" in both London and New York and
directed both the stage and film versions of "The Madness of King George."
The show's choreography was created by Sir Kenneth Macmillan, the long-time
director of Britain's Royal Ballet who died during the "Carousel"
rehearsals. Macmillan's work was honored with a posthumous Tony Award.
A Tony Award also went to the production design by Bob Crowley, who based
his stunning scenic visions -- intended to show "how earth would look
from heaven" -- on the work of American painters including Andrew Wyeth,
Winslow Homer and Iowa's own Grant Wood.
The revival was originally produced in London's West End by Cameron Mackintosh,
the producer of "Les Miserables," "Cats," "Evita,"
"The Phantom of the Opera," "Miss Saigon" and many of
the other top musical hits of the past two decades. The show captured four
Olivier Awards in London before moving to Broadway.
The "Carousel" revival attracted immediate praise. Reporting from
London, Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times, "This is without question
the most revelatory, not to mention the most moving revival I've seen of any
Rodgers & Hammerstein musical." Variety's Matt Wolf called it "an
electrifying piece of theatre -- a landmark reclamation of a Rodgers &
"Carousel," which premiered in 1945, is now regarded as a Rodgers
& Hammerstein masterpiece that was far ahead of its time in style and
content. It also contains some of the team's most beloved songs, including
"You'll Never Walk Alone," "If I Loved You" and "June
is Bustin' Out All Over."
This affecting tale of love and redemption begins in 1873, with the arrival
of a carnival in a small New England town. Swaggering carousel barker Billy
Bigelow and mill worker Julie Jordan fall in love, but Billy turns out to
be a complex, undependable and sometimes abusive husband. Billy dies, leaving
his wife and young daughter alone, but 15 years later he is permitted to return
to Earth to redeem himself with one final good deed -- to help his rebellious,
Beginning with the revolutionary "Oklahoma!" in 1943 and continuing
until Oscar Hammerstein's death in 1960, Rodgers & Hammerstein were the
most consistently successful and popular figures in American theater. Their
collaborations -- including "South Pacific," "The King and
I" and "The Sound of Music" -- still rank among the defining
achievements of American musical theater. Of all their spectacularly successful
shows, "Carousel" remained the team's personal favorite.
Tickets for "Carousel" are $45, $41 and $37. UI students and senior
citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and tickets for young people 17
and younger are half price. Tickets are also available at a substantial discount
as part of the Parsons Technology Broadway Series. The other event in the
series is "Kiss of the Spider Woman" Feb. 7 and 8.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319)
335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER.
Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American
Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills,
and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and
seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with
TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Audio description for audience members with visual impairment will be provided
for both performances on Jan. 25.
The corporate sponsor of the Broadway Series is Parsons Technology, through
the University of Iowa Foundation.