| Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics & Book: Oscar Hammerstein II
Licensing Agent: Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library
For a long time Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel lived in the shadow of its phenomenally successful immediate predecessor, Oklahoma! Based on Ferenc Molnar's play Liliom, Carousel took many risks for its time, and it's now easier to appreciate them. Though the songwriters gave the story a more upbeat ending, the subject matter, about a brutal man's treatment of the women in his life and its impact on his fate, was undeniably dark. Furthermore, Rodgers and Hammerstein were arguably more stylistically audacious than in Oklahoma!. Rodgers, for instance, dispensed with the traditional overture, composing a piece titled "Waltz Suite: 'Carousel'" instead. No wonder, then, that many R & H fans actually prefer Carousel to its older sibling. This 50th-anniversary edition of the recordings made by the original cast offers alternate takes of three tracks.