GALVESTON, TX -- In a way, life on this island city is a day at the beach. On Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 it's also "A Real Nice Clambake." Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical Carousel swings into town then, at the Grand 1894 Opera House. The presenter is The Troika Organization, and its artistic director, Dallett Norris, helms the production.
Brian E. Long leads the cast as Bill, the handsome, swaggering carnival barker for a troupe that descends upon a small New England fishing village. A ne'er-do-well who comes to salvation only after despair brings out the worst in him, Bill is a far cry from Long's recent turn as the hipster Danny Zuko in The Troika Organization's national tour of Grease!.
Cassandra McConnell plays the heroine Julie Jordan, the beautiful young millworker who falls for Bill, suffers because of him, and helps bring about his redemption. A graduate from Indiana University School of Music, McConnell sings opera as well, having studied with Vera Scammon.
Other Carousel chestnuts include "If I Loved You," "Soliloquy," and "You'll Never Walk Alone," though many Galveston beachcombers do exactly that by the seaside: walk alone.
Carousel, presented by The Troika Organization, plays at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston Feb. 28 and Mar. 1. For tickets, $14.50 - $47, call (800) 821-1894. -- By Peter Szatmary