Is it really possible to use the word delightful to describe a musical which includes a low life Lothario, sexual harassment, backstabbing, spousal abuse, assault and battery, abduction, card sharking, robbery, attempted murder, and suicide? It is possible, if that musical is Carousel, the latest production at Olney Theatre.
Directed by Jason Loewith, Carousel is based on the 1909 stage play Lilion by Ferenc Molnár – adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer (perhaps a pen name for Lorenz Hart?). The play was reworked for Broadway in 1944 – with Molnar’s guarded blessing – by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
After about six weeks of previews, the original stage production of Carousel opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre and ran for 890 performances. Repeating the success of Oklahoma (1943), Carousel was wildly received and won the 1945 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.