Carousel Review

Chandler+Drake+and+Jordan+Hicks+took+the+lead+roles+in+%22Carousel%22+as+Billy+Bigelow+and+Julie+Jordan.+%2F%2F+Photo+from+piedmont.edu

Chandler Drake and Jordan Hicks took the lead roles in “Carousel” as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. // Photo from piedmont.edu

Presley Field, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“Carousel,” put on by the Piedmont Players, used music and song to convey a powerful message of hope and love. These qualities are something that everyone is looking for in the world today. After seeing “Carousel,” it uplifted my spirits and gave me some hope for life moving forward. 

 

After Billy Bigelow, portrayed by Jordan Hicks, decides to commit suicide, the show changes tone and presents a hopeful sense to life. Billy was able to go back to earth for a day, but it was fifteen years in the future. At the time of Billy’s death, his wife Julie Jordan was pregnant with their daughter. Julie Jordan, portrayed by Chandler Allen, never saw Billy when he came back to earth, but her daughter Louise did speak to her father. Billy noticed that his daughter was going through similar problems that he did when he was her age and talked to her, telling her that everything would be okay. Louise became frightened when Billy asked about her mother; Billy, then became invisible to Louise, as well as Julie. The final scene shows Louise at her graduation and there are subtle hints that Billy is present. It provides a lot of hope in such a dark topic involving the death of loved ones. 

 

From a musical standpoint, the musical numbers were performed really well. Amidst the lingering challenges that still occur with COVID-19, the actors and band were able to coordinate to put on a great show. The band, which usually performs in the pit below the stage, had to move to the adjacent Black Box theatre. The music was then transmitted from there to the mainstage speakers. This challenge was accomplished as if it wasn’t a challenge at all. 

 

The orchestra being in a whole different space was incredibly difficult at first, but I knew that Dr. Hinson would do everything he could to help us adjust and he did so perfectly,” said lead actress, Chandler Allen. 

 

From an acting standpoint, everyone portrayed their character strongly. One highlight from one performer in particular was the portrayal of Billy Bigelow by Jordan Hicks; Hicks did an amazing job with this character. There was one point in the show where Hicks was in the audience during a scene and I could see him shaking. However, this wasn’t because of nervousness. Jordan was making his character extremely believable and it showed. Chandler Allen, who portrayed Julie Jordan, also did a great job. Allen has a great voice and made every musical number that she was in spectacular. Allen struggled with her portrayal of Julie initially but after performing, she realized she had a lot in common with her character. 

 

“After the show, I mostly reflected on how I separate myself from the character of Julie. Because in the beginning, I knew we were different, but now I feel as though we maybe aren’t that different, and I’ll always keep a piece of her with me.” said Allen.

 

After the performances, Hicks was very grateful for the cast and crew involved in the show’s production. 

 

“Now that the performances are over, I’m really going to miss the entire cast and crew. We all grew into such an amazing family and I’m really going to miss working with each and every one of them. Doing a show during COVID was very difficult and had a lot of different boundaries that we had to jump through in order for the show to be safe for everyone involved. I’m so thankful that Piedmont has allowed us to perform and do what we love to do,” said Hicks. 

 

The message of “Carousel” was meant to be hopeful and to encourage people to show love towards others; the cast sent that message out with enthusiasm and hope that the audience members walked away with those thoughts in mind. 

 

“I hope the audience took away the message of hope within the story of “Carousel.” In today’s world, it’s so easy to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. With “Carousel,” we see that love and hope allows for a happy ending, no matter what,” said Hicks.

 

Overall, “Carousel” was great and showed the talent of everyone involved, including set design and other behind-the-scenes work. 

 

Looking forward into the year, the Piedmont theatre department is gearing up for their last theatre production of the 2020-2021 school year. “1959 Pink Thunderbird” is scheduled to show April 15-18. With the talent shown off in “Carousel,” you won’t want to miss it.