Based on Ferenc Molnár's play Liliom, Carousel was Rodgers and Hammerstein's second collaboration and the follow-up to their wildly successful Oklahoma! The production opened at the Majestic Theatre April 19, 1945, starring John Raitt as Billy Bigelow and Jan Clayton as Julie Jordan.
The musical was well-received by critics and would prove to be another success for the dynamic writing duo. Lewis Nichols of the New York Times thought the show was "delightful" and wrote: "Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who can do no wrong, have continued doing no wrong in adapting Liliom into a musical play."
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