VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Carousel, 1945

By Megan Dekic
24 May 2014

The original production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Carousel closed its two-year run on this date in 1947. The Playbill Vault looks back at the musical's premiere on Broadway.



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."

Carousel went on to play 890 performances before closing May 24, 1947. It was most recently revived on Broadway in 1994 with a cast that included Michael Hayden, Sally Murphy and Audra McDonald.

Click here to read a 1945 Playbill from the original run of Carousel.