Because it’s JUUUUNNNNNNEEEE
Just because it’s JUNE
The 1945 Broadway musical Carousel was written by the powerhouse duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. It was their second ever musical, following after the massively popular Oklahoma! The musical is set in a Maine town, and it follows a horribly abusive relationship. If you were hoping for a jolly circus musical, look elsewhere. There are few carousels to be seen, and zero clowns. They should’ve called this Clambake, to be honest, given that the clambake is a major plot point. The carousel is kinda not. The musical is an adaptation of the Bulgarian play Liliom, which is sorta less forgiving on the redemption arc portion. Depending on your sentiments on terribly abusive husbands who sorta get their just deserts in a botched robbery, the modifications to Carousel might not be an improvement.
BUT! It may also help to remember the times in which Carousel was released. It was 1945, the time that the war was over. A lot of soldiers were coming home… and many of them, who had hastily married before shipping off, were not the best characters. Several of the audience saw themselves as the starry-eyed romantics at the musical’s beginning, only to see it all go to Hell as grim reality reared its ugly head. For those, Carousel could be seen as kind of a comfort… that, despite being trapped in what can be seen as a doomed relationship, there was hope for them past that.
A pretty dark take on a rather dark musical that also includes a catchy number that celebrates June. A pretty sexy one, too. What d’ya suppose the captains hanker, when their ships are kept at anchor, for the comfort that they can only get in port? Even the ewe-sheep aren’t keeping score.
Perhaps my favorite piece of trivia regarding this musical is that the song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” somehow became the fight song for Premiere League football team Liverpool FC. The phrase is even on the official team badge. I don’t know why this is.