Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Music and Movement of Carousel at Barrington Stage

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The Company of Carousel. Kevin Sprague Photo

There is much to praise about the new production of Carousel at the Barrington Stage Company. This is a show you should not miss. It has the glorious Rodgers and Hammerstein score, the top notch singing, the beautiful sets and costumes, but the real reason I think you should see it are two young people who steal the show, Kristen Paulicelli, and Edmund Bagnell.

Kristen Paulicelli

Edmund Bagnelli

Capturing the joyous carefree moments of youthful ecstasy is Kristen Paulicelli as Louise. Just watching her dance lifts your spirits as only well done ballet can. I only wish my old friend Agnes De Mille was still around to see her performance. Updated for this production by choreographer Joshua Bergasse. She is partnered by Al Blackstone and together they are a joy to watch.

Kristen Paulicelli brilliantly captured in midair in this photo by Kevin Sprague.

A tree tries to dance too.

The other big surprise of the show comes during the Hornpipe number which is also full of high spirits and dancing. Here Edmund Bagnell as Enoch Snow, Jr. almost casually meanders on stage and starts playing his violin. The sound is gorgeous, and lifts the show right off its hinges. It is an indelible moment. And I didn't fool with the photo. Someone had him draw that silly looking mustache on his upper lip.

Edmund Bagnell and his violin

This makes two violinists strutting the stages of Berkshire Theatres at the same time. The other fiddler is Stephen Pilkington who appears briefly in Shakespeare & Company's Pinters Mirror. Here he provides a contrast to and diversion for the main characters.

Stephen Pilkington plays the violin in Pinter's Mirror. Kevin Sprague Photo.

The most fascinating thing about the dancer and violinist in Carousel is how they seem to have become pals. At a recent after party they were seen enjoying each other's company. Hmmmm....

The two young stars, Kristen and Edmund at the after party. Matt Tolbert photo.

Carousel continues to July 11. The Barrington Stage Box Office is 413.236.8888 or you can find them online at

Pinter's Mirror continues to August 2. The Shakespeare & Company Box Office is 413.637.3353 and you can find them online at

Some of the Boys of Carousel with more hokey mustaches. Kevin Sprague Photo.

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