19600 S Molalla Ave.
Carousel was the second collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, a story of star-crossed romance that was reportedly Rodgers’ favorite. With numbers like “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “A Real Nice Clambake,” it’s brimming with wide-eyed optimism. Clackamas Rep doesn’t stray from this path, resulting in a production that's sunny but dated. Set in a small coastal village in Maine, it’s a tired story about a bad boy—Billy Bigelow, an ill-reputed carousel barker—who knocks up the good girl and struggles for redemption. Maybe the idea of a womanizing carny felt edgy in 1945, when Carousel premiered on Broadway, but today that’s not the case. Even so, Mitchell is fantastic, effortlessly delivering the speedy dialogue and whistling cocky tunes as he struts across the stage. A romance ignites with Julie Jordan (Dru Rutledge), a lovely mill worker who could be the one to turn Billy around—until Billy turns to crime to provide for his young new family. Rutledge struggles to balance drama and folly, but her voice is beautiful, especially during her poignant solo: “What’s the use of wondering if the ending will be sad? He’s your feller and you love him, there’s nothing more to say.” Director David Smith-English has assembled a talented ensemble of tap and ballet dancers, and the sets and costumes are impressive down to the last grimy apron string. None of that, however, can conceal the fact that Carousel hasn't aged terribly well.
Where: Clackamas Community College, Osterman Theatre
Address: 19600 S Molalla Ave.