Carousel (Ash Lawn Opera, 2013)

THE DAILY PROGRESS:

"Carousel, which opened on Broadway in 1945, is theater of its time, with some definitely-not–politically-correct segments.  But in the right hands, the Rodgers and Hammerstein score more than compensates. And it is in the right hands in Ash Lawn Opera’s production, now running at the Paramount.

Stage director and choreographer John de los Santos’ background includes both opera and musical theater, and it shows.  There are differences between what kind of staging works for each, and it’s nice to see an opera company perform a musical with an understanding of the differences.

De los Santos gives us blocking and choreography that are both beautiful and functional within the context of the show and the confines of the Paramount’s stage, including the opening pantomime of the New England townsfolk at a carnival. The famous dance numbers in the show had to be re-created for a cast that features singers, and this he has done admirably. "