Game Changers: The Broadway Musicals That Shaped the Art Form

By Ben Rimalower
29 Mar 2014

Carousel (1945)

Carousel took the advancement of Oklahoma! a step further by blurring the lines between songs and dialogue. While still working (as in Oklahoma!) in an American folk style, Rodgers and Hammerstein's score enters the realm of the operatic with its extended sequences incorporating music and lyrics and spoken text, most notably in the 12-minute "bench scene." Not only are the songs not interchangeable, but they function as the key dramatic moments in the show.