The Gilbert and Sullivan Players present the musical Carousel at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center this weekend.
Created by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the musical opened on Broadway in 1945. It was the duo's second collaboration following their first hit, Oklahoma! In 1999, Time magazine called it the best musical of the 20th century.
Carousel is about a carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, who falls in love with a millworker named Julie Jordan. Their romance results in both losing their jobs and Julie becoming pregnant. Seeking to support his family, Billy gets talked into committing a robbery, but it results in his death. Sixteen years later, he gets an opportunity to amend his errors by being sent down to Earth for a day.
The three-hour show has one intermission. There are more than 100 costumes for the cast of 40, which the show's director, Jamie Bierchen, said resulted in challenges that he was willing to embrace.
"When you have 40 people on the stage and having the characters be very believable, that of course is a challenge. But we have excellent people," he said. "There's a lot of people in the bay area who love Rodgers and Hammerstein, and it's a chance for people to see it."
Tarpon Springs resident Joell Ramsdell, 45, plays Billy, a role unlike his usual comedic characters.
"It's emotionally draining, but I get to sing beautiful music," he said. "It's a very uplifting show, and it's about how a person can change and find redemption."
Diedra Rodriguez can be reached at (727) 445-4154 or [email protected]