On Saturday, April 7, the Orlando Philharmonic presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, named “The best musical of the 20th Century,” by TIME magazine. Orlando Philharmonic Music Director, Christopher Wilkins, conducts performances at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, located at 401 W. Livingston Street, Orlando.
Carousel, is the second stage musical by the team of Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein (book and lyrics). Their first collaboration was Oklahoma! (1943), which had been a huge success. Among all his musicals, Rodgers admitted, Carousel was his favorite…it seems, the public agrees. The work premiered in 1945 and was adapted from Ferenc Molnár‘s 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline.
Even if you’ve never seen the Broadway show live, you undoubtedly saw the 1956 movie. The characters are indelibly etched in our minds by the unforgettable performance of Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. Billy Bigelow, a carousel barker at a carnival, and Julie Jordan, a factory worker, find love and hard times after they wed. Billy reverts to a life of crime to make ends meet and so it goes. After his death, Billy is granted permission to be sent down from heaven to make amends, in what ends up being a real tear-jerker of a scene and a dramatic testimony to the power of love.
Some of the most unforgettable music and lyrics are contained in this musical, including: “If I Loved You,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over.” An awesome and talented cast will capture these beautiful tunes in the Philharmonic’s two performances. Michelle Knight stars in the role of Julie Jordan and Shawn Kilgore is Billy Bigelow.
Michelle Knight is a favorite with the Philharmonic’s audience. Knight is an Orlando native and a graduate of the University of Central Florida. Most recently, she was seen on Broadway in the Tony award winning Jersey Boys National tours include Rizzo in Grease, and Connie Boylan in the 30th anniversary tour of Annie. Locally, she performed with Mad Cow in The Butter and Egg Man, with the Orlando Shakespeare Festival in A Little Night Music, and at Seaside Music Theater as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. In May of 2010, Knight appeared in the role of Eliza Doolittle in the Orlando Philharmonic’s presentation of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. She returned in October 2010, to star in the role of Sarah Brown in the Philharmonic’s production of Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls.
Shawn Kilgore is originally fromBrunswick,Ohio and now resides inOrlando,Florida. He studied musical theatre performance at The Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music inCleveland, and The American Musical andDramaticAcademy in NYC.
He is a regional theatre award winning singer and actor whose favorite roles include Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf in Into the Woods, Bobby in Company, Edward Lyons in Blood Brothers, and Benjy Stone in My Favorite Year. He can also be heard on the National Cast Album of Nunsense A-men! and he enjoyed a successful run as George in The Drowsy Chaperone withOrlando’s Mad Cow Theatre.
Get your tickets now and relive the magic of Carousel. Tickets are priced from $14.75 – $70. Call the Orlando Philharmonic Box Office at (407) 770-0071 or order online at www.OrlandoPhil.org .