Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Give ‘Carousel’ a whirl

If you’re up for a true touch of nostalgia, give Genesius Theatre’s current production, “Carousel,” a whirl. With its memorable music and characters, this classic is a perfect way to escape the hectic pace of today’s world into a simpler time.

Strong vocals as well as enthusiastic dancing bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music and story to life. Of special note are performances by Devon Johnson as Julie, Marisa Hoover as Carrie and Corey Clark as Billy Bigelow.

Johnson’s Julie is sweet and loyal with a pure soprano that matches the character’s persona. This is particularly evident in the duet, “If I Loved You,” with Clark as the swaggering “bad boy” Billy Bigelow.

Clark handles the bad boy image well, but truly shines in his solo “Soliloquy” when he sings about “my boy, Bill” and his “little girl” after finding out that Julie is pregnant.

Marisa Hoover has the perfect playful voice and delivers a solid performance with a gleam in her eye as Julie’s sassy friend Carrie.

Erin Aregood is well-suited to the nurturing role of Nettie Fowler and her rendition of the powerful “You’ll Never Walk Alone” brought on chills.

Other performances of note are Phillipe Levesque as Billy’s nefarious pal Jigger Craigin, and Greg Mazurek as Mr. Snow, Carrie’s beau.

The small confines of the stage made for some tricky choreography, but the dancers managed to pull it off, especially some of the male dancers who delivered some impressive acrobatic moves.

The ensemble cast included many young performers as well as seasoned theater veterans who sang another favorite number from the show “June Is Bustin' Out All Over” with gusto and closed the show with a poignant reprise of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.

”Carousel” continues this week at the Genesius Theatre, 153 N. 10th St., Reading. Remaining performances are Wednesday and Thursday Nov. 10 and 11 at 7 p.m, Friday and Saturday Nov. 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees Nov. 13 and 14 at 2 p.m.

For tickets call 610-373-9500. For information call 610-371-8151 or visit the website at wwwgenesiustheatre.org.


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