"by far the best of the opera company's annual spring forays into the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein canon." - Chicago Tribune
"This really is a gorgeous new production....Aside from the huge vocal performances by the likes of Laura Osnes, Steven Pasquale, and Denyce Graves, what really impresses here is the richness of the storytelling, and more important yet, the depth of the emotional connection between Julie Jordan and her no-good louse of a husband, Billy Bigelow. This is a world-class Carousel, spinning right here in Chicago." - CBS 2
"director/choreographer Rob Ashford's seductive, unsentimental yet darkly compelling production...comes about as close to perfect as it gets." - Daily Herald
"… in bold and creative ways, this 'Carousel' … reaches literally for the stars and frequently attains them, bringing innovate ideas and the personnel to implement them to a production that is huge, audaciously daring, and bracingly human. And yes, one that is immediately legendary." - Broadway World
"under Rob Ashford's sublime direction, Lyric Opera of Chicago's production is a Carousel
for the ages. " - Huffington Post
Praise for "the grandeur of the massive sets, the spectacle of the dances... and the sheer power of a cast of five dozen insanely talented folks walking an expansive stage, telling a timeless tale while singing songs loved by generations of Americans." - Broadway World
"[Ashford's] vision offers a grandly majestic, operatic sweep overflowing with wonderful characters and inventive, athletic choreography." - Chicago Theatre Review
"Come to the 'Carousel.' You need to get your ticket punched, to catch a ride on your very own life, and to do so in the most unforgettable way you can imagine. And you'll never walk alone." - Broadway World
"Lyric's Carousel is beautiful and heart melting" - Chicago Parent
"stunning and breathtaking from start to finish" - Around the Town Chicago
Carousel is "as near perfect as possible" - Chicago Critic
"Lyric Opera of Chicago is on a roll with its scintillating new production of the iconic 1945 musical 'Carousel.'" - Lake County Journal
The dream cast
"Stacked with Broadway stars and cast with uncommon consistency and shrewdness, Ashford's production appears directed with Broadway in mind and, well, New York should be so lucky." - Chicago Tribune
"Steven Pasquale and Laura Osnes are delivering career-defining star turns as doomed lovers Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan.…The pairing…already feels like a legendary Broadway coupling. Now someone just needs to actually get them on Broadway. Soon, please." - Broadway.com
Steven Pasquale "has it all going on" - Chicago Tribune
"Pasquale brings a Brando-esque quality to Billy" - Chicago Sun-Times
"Pasquale's take on Billy's eight-minute solo 'Soliloquy' is downright transcendent"
- Time Out Chicago
Steven Pasquale gives "a breathtaking turn as a handsome young punk you want to root for in spite of yourself" - Chicago on the Aisle
"Laura Osnes is a superb Julie—at once tough and fragile, independent and vulnerable." - Chicago Reader
Laura Osnes "offers a very striking window into Julie's determination to separate from her peers, manifest vocally through the exciting crescendo she constructs for such famous lyrics as 'Round in circles I'd go,' where the resilience in the musical swell undermines the lyrical expression of doubt" - Chicago Tribune
"Osnes' delicacy, vulnerability and spine are lovely throughout"
- Chicago Sun-Times
"Osnes…gives us a Julie Jordan that is fragile and wounded even as she's independent." - Talkin' Broadway
Jenn Gambatese "who made a playful Maria in Lyric's Sound of Music last spring, is an effusive delight as Julie's love-drunk friend Carrie Pipperidge"
- Time Out Chicago
Matthew Hydzik's "soaring voice and determined spirit are spot-on"
- Chicago Sun-Times
Denyce Graves is "spectacular" - Chicago Tribune
Jarrod Emick "makes bad-boy Jigger Craigin another one of his characterizations that is both a dynamite singer and an imposing physical presence."
- Broadway World
Charlotte d'Amboise is "an extraordinary dancer and actor whose every move's a marvel" - Chicago on the Aisle
Tony Roberts gives "an avuncular but unsentimental turn as the Starkeeper" - Chicago Tribune
The breathtaking ballet
"Ashford's staging of the Act II ballet is an assured thrill" - Time Out Chicago
"Among the production's most glorious scenes is the second act ballet"
- Chicago Sun-Times
"Ashford's choreography here is suffused with deep emotional intensity, and Simon dances so beautifully, the quality of her acting in the crucial final encounter with her father is a bonus, but a crucial one all the same." - Chicago Tribune
"Ashford's version is more like a fever dream for Billy, who walks through its action and can't quite believe the horrors that appear before him. …what a creative way to conceive of the entire sequence!" - Broadway World
Ashford "has intensified the role of ballet in the show...drama, song, orchestral music, dance, and design are fused into a total theater experience." - Chicago Reader
"How wonderful that Director Rob Ashford choreographed all-new pieces for Lyric Opera's new production of Carousel. And better yet that the dancers—Abigail Simon as Louise, Martin Harvey as her Carnival Boy partner, Charlotte D'Amboise as the nightmare image of Mrs. Mullin—and the entire dance ensemble gave flawless performances." - Chicago-Splash.com
The transcendent music
"With its magnificent revival of 'Carousel,' Lyric Opera of Chicago has accomplished what few other theaters ever will, which is to showcase the grand and glorious score by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein with a full complement of strings, woodwinds and brass most theatergoers are unlikely to hear outside an opera house or symphony hall." - Daily Herald
"it is wonderful to hear Rodgers's rich score delivered by an opera-company chorus and orchestra under David Chase's baton." - Chicago Reader
"[U]nder David Chase's assured baton, the Lyric's orchestra mines all the magic in this lilting score. " - Huffington Post
"The music is divine" - Around the Town Chicago
"This Carousel employs a lush 37-piece orchestra and a raft of ensemble singers, rendering Rodgers's rich score with exquisite care" - Time Out Chicago
The stunning visuals
"[The] hypnotic production design by Paolo Ventura elevates the dreamlike and otherworldly aspects of this heartbreaking love story." - Huffington Post
"the design from the Italian artist Paolo Ventura … is strikingly lean, dominated by miniaturized vistas that feel more picayune European than puritan New England, and suggesting, as profoundly and existentially as any of the scores of productions of this work I've seen, the transitory nature of any happiness you can find at a traveling carnival in the company of one who barks for a living." - Chicago Tribune
"The set by Paolo Ventura is amazingly real with the opening number's actual carousel appearing as if it was transported from a museum to the stage on Wacker Drive." - Around the Town Chicago
"Another risk for Ashford that pays off is the contribution of Paolo Ventura, an artist and photographer making his theatrical debut as set designer. His settings have a water-color feel reminiscent of some of Edward Hopper's work."
- Talkin' Broadway
"Tony Award-winning costume and lighting designers Catherine Zuber and Neil Austin work with a variety of silhouettes and colors to highlight and deepen the visual attention." - Broadway World
Don't wait - Carousel will be gone in less than three weeks!
This limited-engagement musical runs only through May 3. BUY YOUR TICKETS today!
- Carousel production photos credit Todd Rosenberg and Robert Kusel for Lyric Opera of Chicago