It’s a New York moment. The artistic perfect storm.
On one stage, at the same time, the New York Philharmonic, Broadway, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet. Add Glorious music. Carousel.
I’ve never been the hugest fan of Carousel. I can’t imagine ever being able to get past the climactic moment that justifies physical abuse: “Yes, you can be hit, hit hard, and not feel a thing.”
But tonight, until that moment, I gave in. I think the operatic format of the Encore Series helped, too. The whole had more gravitas.
From the first note of the overture, I knew something great was happening. The sound in Avery Fisher, along with the enormous orchestra of the Philharmonic, made the sound lush and swelling at once. I felt like I was inside the music, riding on a soft bed of wonder. Glorious, glorious music.
And the voices weren’t too bad either. After seeing Kelli O’Hara in Nice Work if You Can Get It, delightful to be sure, hearing her sing Julie Jordan, I didn’t know she had that kind of voice in her. Every time she opened her mouth, tears rand down my cheeks. Nathan Gunn is a huge baritone, spoken and singing, and his Billy, well it’s a match for her Julie.
Stephanie Blythe will never be accused of acting, but hearing her sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with the walls trembling is noble.
Jessie Mueller, coming off her hilarious turn in Drood, takes on the very different role of Carrie, and her Mr. Snow, Jason Danieley was a revelation. His sweetest, most powerful tenor sliced through the sad wash of the show. And who knew Shuler Hensley (The Whale!) could sing like that?
Although I really shouldn’t be surprised. From what I can tell, even the divine Tiler Peck, from the New York City Ballet, can sing, and her second act ballet? She’s a gorgeous being. Only John Cullum appears to have no voice, but he was so perfect in the role of Dr. Seldon. Kate Burton took the throwaway role of Mrs. Mulin, maybe just to be in the company of this company!
Too bad there isn’t a cast recording, although who knows? It might show up on youtube.