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Carousel without the Waltz 
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Post Carousel without the Waltz
Let me just say right off: I love the Carousel Waltz. It's my second favorite instrumental piece written for the stage and it was an innovative way to start off a show in its time. But times have obviously changed and I think the show would work just fine without it. True, it worked extremely well for a 1940's audience and nowadays it comes across as dated and laborious. I think opening the show with the waltz would be a very tough sit for a contemporary audience; plus, ballet dancers of that caliber may not be available if one were to mount a production. So, how would you all feel about a production of CAROUSEL that cut the Waltz?

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Well, for one thing, wouldn't that be illegal? (Unless you're meaning that the song would be used, but in a different fashion.) I'm pretty sure cutting a song from a show is illegal, even if that song is instrumental. That's not to say it isn't regularly done in many shows. And maybe it is legal and I don't know what I'm talking about...

Personally, I don't find it a tough sit, and if I don't count being a theatre person, none of the people I was with when I saw the show live seemed to feel that way either. I feel like it's a good way to start the show off with, and am curious how you would propose to start it otherwise. (Not saying I'd be opposed to new ideas, but I am not opposed to the current way of doing it either.)

The production I saw brought in dancers from a nearby studio for this number, and while I liked the idea, I feel that they should have either had the number choreographed to accommodate the dance abilities of the Julie and Carrie who were cast, or at the very least the dance doubles should have more closely resembled the actresses who they were doubling for (the Carrie dance double was a good foot shorter than the actual Carrie and appeared to be about twelve years old). I'm big on the belief of "if you do not have the ability to do a show well you should choose another show, but I feel like in this case there is a way to "dumb down" the opening waltz, if otherwise the show was perfect for the company at that time.


Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Apples2for10 wrote:
I think opening the show with the waltz would be a very tough sit for a contemporary audience [...]


Why would you think that?

I have no idea why that should be difficult for a contemporary audience, and if it is, I think it's time they'd learn to sit through it. I'm very much against changing things because it happens to be out of vogue.

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Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:23 am
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Hans wrote:
Apples2for10 wrote:
I think opening the show with the waltz would be a very tough sit for a contemporary audience [...]


Why would you think that?


Because when I was in KING & I, one of the biggest complaints we'd hear from the audience is that the Small House Ballet was too long. But unlike Small House (and Laurey's Dream Ballet, for that matter), the ballet that starts Carousel doesn't drive the story forward. You could cut the ballet, keep the Waltz as an Overture (only shortened) and learn everything you need to know from the first book scene.

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Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:59 am
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Apples2for10 wrote:
Because when I was in KING & I, one of the biggest complaints we'd hear from the audience is that the Small House Ballet was too long.


What do you think yourself? Do you think the material id flawed? Or do you think your production was misdirected? Or do you think your audience lacks the dicipline to sit though something that doesn't immediately catch their attention or something that lacks "modern" pace?

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Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:07 am
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Hans wrote:
Apples2for10 wrote:
Because when I was in KING & I, one of the biggest complaints we'd hear from the audience is that the Small House Ballet was too long.


What do you think yourself? Do you think the material id flawed? Or do you think your production was misdirected? Or do you think your audience lacks the dicipline to sit though something that doesn't immediately catch their attention or something that lacks "modern" pace?


Out of these options, I think the audience did lack discipline. But let me answer the other questions. I beleive that the Small House Ballet is one of the most perfectly structured scenes in theater history; however, there are parts of KING AND I that I do find flawed. My production wasn't misdirected, per se; however, our director was very Hal Prince-y in that he focused more on the set design and less time devouring the script.

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Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Apples2for10 wrote:
Out of these options, I think the audience did lack discipline.


I think you are right. And I think it indicates what I think about cutting the Uncle Tom ballet and the Carousel Waltz. It's rude towards the writers to compromise their work because the audience lacks good behaviour.

If the reason to cut the Waltz is that you lack dancers that can dance it, I don't think you should do the piece at all.

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Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:52 am
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
Sorry for diggin' out an old thread... ;)
But as Carousel is being showed on stage for the first time in France theese days (yes, unbelievable, but true...) I am getting more and more interested by it.

I cannot imagine cutting the carousel waltz. It's like cutting "The Hills Are Alive" in the Sound of Music
or cutting "little people" from Les Misérables just because it is not necessary in the story. (Oups... that has been done...)

The fact that it's because it's difficult to have dancers of that caliber, then why not cut the songs that are too difficult to sing ?

I don't know what R&H's jewelkeepers could allow, but we could imagine a million things to show on stage on that music, even without a dance number.

Plus : I love overtures... It's like leaving the real world and travelling to a new place.
Why not have the audience get in the theatre with the curtain openned to an empty dark stage and as the overture start, see light comming in, see the set appear from the wings, the flies and the backstage little by little, the carousel being installed etc.


Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:42 am
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
hyperactress23 wrote:
Well, for one thing, wouldn't that be illegal? (Unless you're meaning that the song would be used, but in a different fashion.) I'm pretty sure cutting a song from a show is illegal, even if that song is instrumental. That's not to say it isn't regularly done in many shows. And maybe it is legal and I don't know what I'm talking about...

Personally, I don't find it a tough sit, and if I don't count being a theatre person, none of the people I was with when I saw the show live seemed to feel that way either. I feel like it's a good way to start the show off with, and am curious how you would propose to start it otherwise. (Not saying I'd be opposed to new ideas, but I am not opposed to the current way of doing it either.)

The production I saw brought in dancers from a nearby studio for this number, and while I liked the idea, I feel that they should have either had the number choreographed to accommodate the dance abilities of the Julie and Carrie who were cast, or at the very least the dance doubles should have more closely resembled the actresses who they were doubling for (the Carrie dance double was a good foot shorter than the actual Carrie and appeared to be about twelve years old). I'm big on the belief of "if you do not have the ability to do a show well you should choose another show, but I feel like in this case there is a way to "dumb down" the opening waltz, if otherwise the show was perfect for the company at that time.
I'm not sure that it is illegal, many amateur productions of West Side Story cut the ballet. I don't recall ever hearing of them getting into trouble.


Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Carousel without the Waltz
mantarnia wrote:
hyperactress23 wrote:
Well, for one thing, wouldn't that be illegal? (Unless you're meaning that the song would be used, but in a different fashion.) I'm pretty sure cutting a song from a show is illegal, even if that song is instrumental. That's not to say it isn't regularly done in many shows. And maybe it is legal and I don't know what I'm talking about...

Personally, I don't find it a tough sit, and if I don't count being a theatre person, none of the people I was with when I saw the show live seemed to feel that way either. I feel like it's a good way to start the show off with, and am curious how you would propose to start it otherwise. (Not saying I'd be opposed to new ideas, but I am not opposed to the current way of doing it either.)

The production I saw brought in dancers from a nearby studio for this number, and while I liked the idea, I feel that they should have either had the number choreographed to accommodate the dance abilities of the Julie and Carrie who were cast, or at the very least the dance doubles should have more closely resembled the actresses who they were doubling for (the Carrie dance double was a good foot shorter than the actual Carrie and appeared to be about twelve years old). I'm big on the belief of "if you do not have the ability to do a show well you should choose another show, but I feel like in this case there is a way to "dumb down" the opening waltz, if otherwise the show was perfect for the company at that time.
I'm not sure that it is illegal, many amateur productions of West Side Story cut the ballet. I don't recall ever hearing of them getting into trouble.

Yeah, but if the show is licensed by R&H, that brings another element to it. They are more protective of their shows than any other licensee.

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