By Kenneth Jones
09 Jul 2010
Aerialists from Suspended Cirque enliven the production directed by Darko Tresnjak.
Based on the film "Lili," and featuring the songs "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Her Face," Carnival! features music and lyrics by Bob Merrill and book by Michael Stewart, based on material by Helen Deutsch, with revisions by Francine Pascal. Opening at Goodspeed Opera House is Aug. 4.
Many consider Carnival! — the tale of a naïve young woman who joins a traveling circus, encountering acrobats, jugglers, singers and clowns, a manipulative magician and a disillusioned puppeteer — to feature the best score in the career of composer-lyricist Merrill (Take Me Along; New Girl in Town; Henry, Sweet Henry). Merrill also penned lyrics for Jule Styne's score to Funny Girl.
Lili is played by Worsham (Cunegonde in New York City Opera's recent Candide, Paper Mill's Master Class); Paul is played by Adam Monley (Broadway's Mamma Mia!); Marco is played by Mike McGowan (Broadway's Ragtime, Grease, The Apple Tree and The Producers).
The ensemble includes Joshua Dean and Ben Franklin, co-founders of New York-based aerial theatre company Suspended Cirque.
Price Waldman from Broadway's The Little Mermaid and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! joins the ensemble, which also features Timothy Hughes, Kara Kimmer, Robin Masella, Clifton Samuels, Amy Shure, Justin Urso and Dana Winkle. The swings are Miguel Edson and Melissa Steadman.
The creative team for Carnival! includes choreographer Peggy Hickey, scenic designer David P. Gordon, costume designer Fabio Toblini, lighting designer John Lasiter, puppet designer Robert Smythe, music director Michael O'Flaherty, assistant music director F. Wade Russo, orchestrator Dan DeLange.
Carnival! is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.
Tickets are available through the box office at (860) 873-8668, open seven days a week, or online at www.goodspeed.org.