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This Day in History - April 19

'Carousel' opened on Broadway.
Feature | April 19, 2017 | By Jonathan Shipley


On this day, at the Majestic Theatre in 1945, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel opened on Broadway.

Starring Jan Clayton and John Raitt, it would run 890 performances, closing in 1947. The story is of the stormy relationship between a brash carousel barker, Billy Bigelow, and Julie Jordan, a quiet girl who works at the mill. Their story relationship leads to tragedy. The musical is based on the play, Liliom, by Ferenc Molnar. 

There's been a Carousel resurgence of late. The 5th Avenue Theatre did a production in 2015. You can read that Encore Arts Program, here. In the Pacific Northwest Ballet show "Ballet on Broadway," going on now at McCaw Hall, there's a Carousel piece. You can read that Encore Arts Program, here. It's also returning to Broadway in 2018. Learn about the ramping up of that production, here.

Some Carousel facts:

Richard Rodgers would later say it was his favorite musical he wrote.

Time magazine once declared it the best musical of the 20th century.

For the famed 1956 movie, the man originally cast as Billy Bigelow (it went to Gordan MacRae) was Frank Sinatra.

"If I Loved You":

"June is Busting Out All Over":

"When the Children are Asleep":

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