Jessie Mueller is itching to start rehearsals for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel which will be back on Broadway next year. “We’ve gotten to do a little preliminary work. It’s a reminder when you get in the room – that’s when the magic happens,” the 34-year-old told me on the red carpet of the Double Standards concert benefiting women’s rights and empowerment. “I am very excited. It’s always been one of my favorite shows. It feels like a story we need to hear right now.”
The Tony Award winning actress once played Carrie Pipperidge in a 2008 Chicago production of the musical. This is the first time she’ll play the character of Julie Jordan, which was played by Sally Murphy in the last Broadway revival. The Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic tells the tragic romance between a troubled carnival barker and the young woman who gives up everything for him. Directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien (Hairspray), it also stars Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming and Lindsay Mendez.
The musical, last mounted on Broadway in 1994 (and one of the most consistently requested live performances in the New York City Public Library) starring Audra McDonald as Carrie Pipperidge and other familiar names including Taye Diggs and Brian D’Arcy James is set for opening night, April 12, 2018. Mueller who’s seen bits and pieces of that version says the goal of this production is to stay true to the piece. “I think there are interesting things to explore right now. I think it’s this beautiful story of redemption, the question of how we spend our time on this earth and how we treat people.”