Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald Ride the Carnegie Hall Carousel June 6

News   Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald Ride the Carnegie Hall Carousel June 6 Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald headline the June 6 all-star concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald headline the June 6 all-star concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Jackman will portray Billy Bigelow and McDonald will play Julie Jordan in the one-night-only event that will benefit the famed music hall. The star-studded production also casts Jason Danieley as Enoch Snow, Judy Kaye as Nettie Fowler, Lauren Ward as Carrie Pipperidge, Blythe Danner as Mrs. Mullin, Philip Bosco as the Starkeeper, Norbert Leo Butz as Jigger Craigin and Eden Riegel as Louise. Original Carousel star John Raitt, who made a brief appearance on the June 2 Tony Awards broadcast, will also join the company as a "Special Guest."

Walter Bobbie — of Footloose and Chicago fame — will direct the evening, Leonard Slatkin will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Ben Whiteley is both the musical director and choral director. The Concert Chorale of New York will also lend their voices to the presentation of the classic musical, which has been adapted for this concert by John Weidman and Bobbie.

An Australian native, Hugh Jackman starred there as Joe Gillis in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard. His performance as Curly in the Royal National Theatre production of Oklahoma! earned the actor an Olivier nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Since that time, Jackman has become a noticeable presence on the silver screen, starring in such high-profile films as "X-Men," "Someone Like You," "Swordfish" and "Kate & Leopold."

McDonald, who will star next season in the new TV drama "Mister Sterling," earned Tony Awards for her work in Master Class, Ragtime and the 1994 revival of Carousel. She also earned a Tony nomination for her last Broadway outing in the title role of Marie Christine. McDonald starred in last year's concert version of Dreamgirls, which was recently released on Nonesuch Records, and the actress/singer will make her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut on Nov. 2. The versatile performer has also appeared in several television productions, including TV movies of "Annie" and "Wit"; the latter brought the actress her first Emmy nomination. McDonald's solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also available from Nonesuch. "I'm very excited about doing [the concert]," McDonald told Playbill On-Line. "It is a little bit odd. All the recitative that happens before the "Mr. Snow" song—I've had to really restrain myself, because I find myself coming in on all of Carrie's parts, which might upset Lauren [Ward, who plays Carrie] a little bit. And it will be a little strange for Lauren and I, because Lauren understudied Julie at Lincoln Center. She and I went on quite a few times together."

Carousel bowed on Broadway in April 1945 at the Majestic Theatre, where it played 890 performances. The celebrated score includes such tunes as "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," "Mister Snow," "Soliloquy," "What's the Use of Wond'rin'?" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." An all-star concert of Carousel is also scheduled for London's Royal Festival Hall on June 15 and 16 starring Emily Loesser.

Although the concert is sold-out, a Carnegie Hall spokesman related that return tickets may be available at the box office on the day of the performance. (Tickets ranged from $34 to $142 and were available at the hall's box office or through CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800.) Carnegie Hall is located in New York City at 154 W. 57th Street.