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Carousel - weird ending? 
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Post Carousel - weird ending?
What do you think of the ending of Carousel? Is it a concession to the audience's desire for a happy ending (a la Wicked or Rent)? Is it a fantasy of what we feel *should* happen in these situations, and we should just accept it as that? Or is it the necessary hopeful conclusion, because these cycles of behaviour and failure can and should be broken?
Using divine intervention to give Billy a second chance is a pretty weird dramatic choice. It risks being too "let's randomly use magic to fix everything". Since Billy messes up his chance with Louise, it starts looking like the show will avoid that pitfall. But then he gets *another* chance?!? And succeeds in making everything (somewhat) better? Seems odd.
Wouldn't the musical work better if, at the end, Billy wasn't sure whether or not Julie and Louise heard and understood what he wanted them to know?


Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:53 pm
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I always preferred the ening of "Liliom" to the ending of "Carouesel"

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Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:16 pm
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Tony Winner
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I think the ending just seems sensible, because Hammerstein believed in how human nature could redeem itself from any crisis. I know it may seem contrived, but it just seems right. Even Molnar told the writers that he liked the ending while attending a Carousel rehearsal.


Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:40 am
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Tony Winner
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Kill me for saying this, but I really start to lose interest in the show once they go on about the daughter and Billy coming back to earth and all that stuff. Honestly, I could care less about Louise's high school graduation. To me, the show is about Billy and Julie.




In real life, even the best people don't always succeed in making everything better. That's part of human nature. I think the musical would've worked better if Billy had actually tried to make a change in himself while he was still alive, and then he killed himself because he considered himself to be a failure rather than because he was being stupid and accidentally got caught trying to rob someone.

I would've liked it more if they ended the show at "The Highest Judge of All/You'll Never Walk Alone" with Julie learning to keep on living and leaving the question of whether Billy's efforts will have been rewarded in heaven up to the audience's imagination.

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Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:29 pm
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Maybe this is because I haven't seen it in a long time, but I thought Carousel has a very sad ending. Sure, he gets a chance to see Julie again... but it's not like they get to be together forever.

I donno. To me it's just so touching. "If I loved you" becomes "How I loved you". I mean, haven't we all loved someone but been afraid to truly BE in love. And then once we realize that we were in love, it's too late. I know I have.

I should really read "Lilliom". I saw it in the library last time I was there.


Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:36 pm
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