New York | 2h 45m | Already closed

Carousel (Broadway)

From 60 critic and 1,124 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Great staging, Dated, Enchanting

About the show

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical returns to Broadway in a revival directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien and starring Tony winner Jessie Mueller ('Waitress') and Joshua Henry ('Violet'). More…

In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow (Henry), captivates and marries the naive millworker, Julie Jordan (Jessie Mueller). But when Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant, he becomes desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, and is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Known as being Rodgers and Hammerstein’s favorite collaboration, 'Carousel' features a score with timeless songs such as 'If I Loved You,' 'June is Busting Out All Over,' 'Soliloquy,' and 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'

2h 45m | Already closed | Imperial Theatre (Midtown W)

Manhattan Digest

"It still glosses over domestic abuse...Yet under O’Brien’s masterful direction, there is beauty, insight, and wisdom to be gleaned from this stunning new revival...There is a bounty of fine moments in this production, but the best one may come from Fleming, whose interpretation of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' is otherworldly...Mueller's gorgeous vocals and wonderful acting add credibility to this near perfect reboot...The best Broadway musical revival I have ever seen." Full Review

Cabaret Scenes

"A doomed love story unveiled through melodic songs and vigorous dances..Galvanizing performances by Mueller and Henry. A magnetic chemistry of opposites...O'Brien acknowledges the darkness in Billy...Billy's abuse is as timely an issue today...Henry's nuanced performance of machismo and recognition of the bigotry toward African-Americans, blanketing Billy's buried gentleness, is exemplary...Stimulating musical with smashing performances." Full Review

The Wrap

"The new version of 'Carousel' is possibly the best sung, best danced revival to hit Broadway in recent memory...In O’Brien’s hands, Mueller and Henry make us see why Billy behaves as he does, and why he can never forgive himself. It’s no longer a question of our having to find ways to forgive him...Peck fires up the stage in ways that the show’s original choreographer, Agnes de Mille, never imagined...Peck also knows how to tell a story." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"What's perhaps most striking about revisiting classics of this caliber in an ideally cast production like this one is how shoddy they make the craftsmanship of most new musicals look...The sumptuous 24-piece orchestra does the score full justice, as do Tunick's vibrant orchestrations...O'Brien has put together a dramatically forceful production that feels earthy and real, almost gritty at times, but is also wrapped in a charming old-fashioned theatricality that's quite whimsical." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The score is gorgeous, the lyrics moving, and the interweaving of dialog, song, and dance in service of explicating both plot and emotions is masterful...Both Henry and Mueller give us very full-fledged, rounded characters...His acting is specific and nuanced, his voice strong and his physicality magnetic. We believed his feelings and understood his reasoning even if we couldn't condone his actions. Mueller once again displays the magnificent soprano voice and well honed acting skills." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Under Jack O’Brien’s expert direction, with new choreography by ballet wunderkind Justin Peck, it fully serves the overwhelming beauty and boldness of material that, 73 years after the show’s premiere, remains as subversive as ever in its compassion and its keen awareness of the contradictions that make us human...No player in this 'Carousel' is more valuable than Peck...who has expanded the dancing in ways that both reinforce and further explore character." Full Review


"If you’re at all able, please go see the revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 'Carousel'. Director Jack O’Brien has sculpted a dark, powerful production, which—like the revival of 'My Fair Lady' uptown—earns its strength by reveling in moment-to-moment acting choices and glorious singing and staging. The ever-reliable Jessie Mueller is wonderful." Full Review


“In 1999, ‘Time’ magazine declared it the best musical of the 20th century. And now, ‘Carousel’ is back on Broadway, in a revival directed by Jack O'Brien with an emphasis on where the emphasis should be: on the songs and the singing; for whether you agree with Rodgers and ‘Time’--or not (some might put ‘South Pacific’ or even ‘The King and I’ at the top)--the score for ‘Carousel’ is, in a word, ravishing.” Full Review


"This new Broadway revival reveals the haunting beauty of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s lush score and the rich humanity of its characters...A great vehicle for Henry, whose powerhouse performance makes him a front-runner for this year’s best actor in a musical Tony Award. Henry isn’t the only noteworthy actor in this stellar production...Operatic songs coexist with beautifully intricate ballet numbers from choreographer Justin Peck...Dark but uplifting, 'Carousel' has lost none of its power." Full Review

The Observer

"This brand new refurbished production...superbly populated by a huge cast that includes Metropolitan Opera diva Fleming, well directed by veteran O'Brien, and magnificently choreographed by NYC ballet star Peck, is a humdinger...Not only do they no longer write fabulous scores like this one; they don’t even know how...Mueller is lovely and warm as Julie...This is one musical that you risk overlooking at your own peril, a vein of Broadway gold that I hope runs forever." Full Review

JK's Theatre Scene

"A complex, thought-provoking masterpiece...All these weeks later, this beautiful revival has been on my mind frequently...O'Brien's staging was clear: balance the realism in the story with the fantastical Heaven framing device and extended ballets...It is touches like these, along with well-paced stretches of dialogue...that keep things grounded...One of the best things this show does is provoke emotional responses. I got that and then some." Full Review

Simon Parris Man in Chair

"Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking 1945 musical still resonates today thanks to its timeless theme of redemption and its rapturously beautiful score...Treasured hymn 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' has never been matched for the poignancy of its uplifting message of hope...The merits of this new production include a sterling cast, generously sized orchestra and thrilling choreography...As close a connection as we have to the dawn of the golden age of Broadway." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Peck has found a style that recalls the work of Agnes de Mille, 'Carousel's' original choreographer, without being slavishly derivative...In addition to any number of exciting dance sequences, the score is burnished to a bright golden hue by one of the most across-the-board vocally gifted companies Broadway has seen in some time...'Carousel' is one of the very few examples of genuine tragedy in the musical theatre canon, and this production honors it in its own unique way." Full Review

The New York Times

"The tragic inevitability of 'Carousel' has seldom come across as warmly or as chillingly as it does in this vividly reimagined revival. As directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck, with thoughtful and powerful performances by Mr. Henry and Ms. Mueller, the love story at the show’s center has never seemed quite as ill-starred or, at the same time, as sexy...For its first two-thirds, this 'Carousel' tingles with the rapture of life in all its contradictions." Full Review


"Henry shows off the exceptionally beautiful voice of a genuine actor-singer, a voice that while warm and mellow, can also soar with joy and tremble in despair. Director Jack O’Brien has given us a conventional production of 'Carousel,' in the sense of a show that takes no risks but preserves and protects all the original values of a great American musical...In addition to the eye-and-ear-popping Henry, Jessie Mueller is enchanting." Full Review

Broadway News

"Directed by the veteran Jack O’Brien with an assured focus on the texture of the performances...Henry gives a performance of mesmerizing intensity — it’s the musical theater performance of the season to date...The rest of O’Brien’s cast is equally superb...I came away from this 'Carousel' with a richer sense of the contrast between the central characters’ isolation — at times even from each other — and the warmth of the community that surrounds them." Full Review


"Must satisfy the yearning for the familiar pleasures, but also recognize the need to approach it with a fresh eye. Director Jack O'Brien has succeeded on both counts...There's plenty that IS fresh and delightful about Mr. O'Brien's production: The top to bottom perfect cast...the stunning choreography...'Carousel' retains enough of its 'masterwork' essence for me to urge you to put it on your 'not to be missed' list." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"It would be difficult to beat Rodgers and Hammerstein for fraught musical romance...The moving 'Carousel' offers fantasy that illuminates hardscrabble life rather than creating an escape route...Henry is simply marvelous...He’s so immersed in Billy that every, even silent gesture feels in keeping...O’Brien brings nonmusical theater skills to this affecting drama. Nuance proliferates. The director’s painterly eye creates peopled visuals that are never less than aesthetically pleasing." Full Review

Stage Left

"Big, bold, and beautiful—feeling every bit as soaringly operatic and heart-wrenchingly intimate as it must have upon its debut in 1945. That’s thanks to a quintet of smashing principal performances, stunning choreography, an enchanting set design, and a generous, 24 piece orchestra...From the very first downbeat, Mr. Peck asserts his creative command, clearly articulating every key relationship in the story and setting the tone and sensibility of the show." Full Review


"As lovely as anything you’ll see and hear this season. If only Billy Bigelow could keep his fists off women...'Carousel' is, without question, among the most radiantly beautiful musicals ever created, its songs a series of flawless gems...It’d be hard to imagine a better sung 'Carousel' than this one...Director O’Brien draws out the shifting moods – 'Carousel' isn’t all melancholy by any means – and is matched by Justin Peck’s balletic choreography, by turns fluid and rigorous." Full Review

Showbiz 411

"A sublime hit...Henry as carnival barker Billy Bigelow, glistening on stage, delivering a vocal and dramatic performance...This is his breakthrough, and it’s just jaw dropping good. You want to him hear him sing anything, all day long...You’re almost taken aback hearing gorgeous, trained voices handing sublimely written music. For that – for the mesmerizing unfolding carousel canopy at the beginning of Act 1 – this show is a memorable winner." Full Review


"One of the more problematic works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, but it also contains some of their best music...In the delightful revival, that music is given the star treatment...A stellar cast...The topic of spousal abuse could not be more relevant, and it is front and center in 'Carousel'...Mueller is lovely as Julie...Henry shows Billy to be tender, angry, funny, sad and determined...'Carousel' offers a highlight reel of the best of the Golden Age of Broadway." Full Review


"Taking on the character Nettie, Fleming scores an unquestionable success...Fleming may be closing in on 60, but here she sounded as fresh and as emotionally riveting as ever...Among the other actors, the night belonged to Henry, whose Billy immersed the audience in a tragic hero's journey...He also sang like a god...The production by O'Brien moved with great agility and grace throughout the night, transitioning from one scene to the next seamlessly." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"A first-rate revival...As dark and as romantically moody as the classic piece demands...Has some troubling issues to deal with locked down inside the text...Beautifully introduces all the characters and situation expertly....O'Brien had to find a way to deal with the lead male character and his unsympathetic actions...It's his uncontrollable curse, this inability to cope and manage his emotions, and in some ways, it is also the curse of this complicated and dark musical." Full Review


"Judged solely on the quality of its expertly-crafted book, its captivating music and the emotional poetics of its lyrics, 'Carousel' must be regarded as one of the art form's highest achievements...While those, like this critic, who prefer to see theatre pieces performed with the text the authors wrote, will wince at the many changes...what remains still provides enchantment, thrills, great drama and solid laughs in a well-performed and vibrantly choreographed production." Full Review

Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Great singing, Profound

See it if You enjoy a modern take on a dated story that gives it new life with perfect casting and brilliant new choreography

Don't see it if You prefer the original, or don't approve of the story as a whole. Can be triggering to some audience members.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great singing, Great acting, Profound

See it if Loved it

Don't see it if You don’t care for interracial relationships

Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if If you like beautiful music, singing, spectacular dancing and choreography. It’s a poignant love story that can break your heart.

Don't see it if You don’t like Big, Broadway musicals

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if You like great songs and music, operatic style singing, terrific large orchestra, great sets, amazing cast and choreography.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals?

Ambitious, Exquisite, Profound

See it if You want to experience Rogers and Hammerstein with the best the world can offer in terms of acting, dance, staging, sets, lighting, sound!

Don't see it if You do not appreciate great ballet, dark heart wrenching musical theater or don’t like Rogers and Hammerstein

Also Perfect Musical Theater at the highest level. Any student of theater s... Read more Read less

Masterful, Dancetastic, Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like familiar,classic Rodgers&Hammerstein music; amazing Justin Peck choreography. Fabulous dancing, singing, acting, scenery,music

Don't see it if You like only edgy,fast paced and /or performers arguing about politics. Don't like musicals

Also Love this show! Love the way that Justin Peck uses the dancers to port... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Enchanting, Great singing, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You love a good, classical musical with a deep plot

Don't see it if You are into more of a straight upbeat show, comedy etc

Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Great acting, Must see

See it if you enjoy revivals of old musicals and are a fan of Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Don't see it if you are only interested in seeing a modern musical.

Exquisite, Great singing, Masterful

See it if You want to see an excellent revival of this Rodgers & Hammerstein's Classic! INCREDIBLE cast!

Don't see it if You don't enjoy classic musicals or aren't open to an older story.

Enchanting, Great singing, Great acting, Dated

See it if The singing alone makes this worthwhile. But the choreography is just as fantastic. Amar Ramasar as Jigger steals the show with his moves.

Don't see it if The plot is problematic and many people will have a problem setting aside the domestic abuse angle.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you love old-fashioned classic musicals with beautiful singing and phenomenal choreography

Don't see it if you prefer plays or something more modern with a non-linear non-existent story

Heaven on earth

See it if You are a Renee Fleming or Amar Ramasar fan; you will not be disappointed. I could not take my eyes off of Ramasar during Justin Peck’s

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this show. It is the best production I’ve ever seen of Carousel.

Also Choreography of “Blow High Blow Low”. Lindsay Mendez’s (Carrie Pipperr... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Enchanting, Great singing

See it if you love a good old fashion musical with huge production numbers the ballet segments were outstanding

Don't see it if If you don't like ballet

Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Delightful

See it if It's R and H!! What's not to like!!! Blew me away!!!!

Don't see it if You're not into classic musicals. See it anyway!!!!!!!

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite

See it if go see it

Don't see it if lovely

Enchanting, Great acting, Absorbing, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if You love classics. Joshua Henry is an extraordinary actor, singer, dancer. You can feel his torture and tension as he inhabits the role .

Don't see it if Spousal abuse upsets you. R and H were much ahead of their time but Billy is portrayed s a sympathetic, heartbreaking character.

Loved it!, Great cast!, Great direction!, Gorgeous choreography, Beautiful set & lighting

See it if The show grabbed me and pulled me in when the curtain opened. An amazing production where everything works well together. Must see.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals. But this may change your mind. I found it wonderful. Surprised Joshua Henry didn't win the Tony Award.

Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy great singing and dancing this was spectacular

Don't see it if ?

Resonant, Must see, Great singing, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if You've ever enjoyed a musical.

Don't see it if You are tone-deaf.

Also The plot of this 1945 classic could have been ripped from today's head... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite, Deserves a standng o

See it if If you like magnificent theater in all ways, this is for you. Not a crier, but this magnificent production had me going.

Don't see it if If you only like "new" musicals with no melody and banal lyrics.

Refreshing, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if This show is filled with beautiful singing, dancing, costumes and sets! It is romantic and tragic a true love story!

Don't see it if You do not like old fashioned musicals!

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if You want to see a great revival of a timeless piece of Anerican theater. Acting, staging, and dancing are amazing.

Don't see it if Old style musicals are not your thing, or you are expecting something glitzy.

Wow, Great staging, Masterful, Great dancing, Great acting

See it if This is a "golden age" musical. Many of the songs are familiar -- June is Busting Out All Over, If I Loved You, You'll Never Walk Alone.

Don't see it if Everything about this show was perfect. There is some domestic violence. The leads were all great. The dancing was just right. GO SEE IT.

Also Back in Jan I saw Jericho at the Wild Project, which was based on the ... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Exquisite, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You love Rodgers & Hammerstein, beautiful voices, and exqusite dancing with superb choreography by Justin Peck!

Don't see it if You are not a fan of musicals.

Enchanting, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Must see

See it if You enjoy older musicals and dancing

Don't see it if old style singing and long dance sequences

Cast & Creatives (48)