Original Broadway Production (1945)

Trivia & History

Robert Russell Bennett was asked by Richard Rodgers to do the orchestrations. At the time, Bennett was busy working in radio. He did find time to score the first two numbers: "The Carousel Waltz" and "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan/When I Marry Mister Snow." Don Walker was asked to do the rest.

Walker signed on, but he was busy at the time with a musical for which he was composing the score, Memphis Bound. For assistance, he called on Hans Spialek and Stephen Jones to do some numbers. Joe Glover also helped out by putting together the Entr'acte shortly before the New York opening. Major numbers orchestrated by the others included "When the Children Are Asleep (Spialek) and "This Was a Real Nice Clambake," "The Highest Judge of All" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Jones). Spialek and Jones also orchestrated incidental bits and reprises.

After Memphis Bound opened, Rodgers asked Walker to rescore the two numbers scored by Bennett. Walker's job was made difficult because Rodgers asked him to score "The Carousel Waltz" in such a way that the orchestration could be played both by full-size symphony orchestras and the 39-player orchestra being used in the Broadway production. Walker never rescored "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan," but he did do "When I Marry Mister Snow" in addition to "The Carousel Waltz."

Bennett's orchestrations for the first two numbers are heard on the original cast recording as Walker had not yet had a chance to orchestrate them. Walker never reorchestrated the numbers and incidental bits done by Spialek, Jones, and Glover.

When the show first opened, the playbill included the following notice:

Because of governmental restrictions, The Playbill, in common with all publications, will have to curtail its consumption of paper.  During this emergency it will not be possible to furnish a copy of The Playbill to every person.  With your cooperation this regulation can be met without hardship if you will share your copy of The Playbill with your companion.

John Raitt was announced for the cast as early as May 1944, right after he officially took over as Curly in the national tour of Oklahoma! although he seems to have played some stints as Curly in the tour before that time.

Jean Darling played Carrie Pipperidge for almost two years. In March of 1947, she fell ill from exhaustion, apparently not having taken a vacation during the run, and she was hospitalized. After she'd been out for a week, it was announced that she was expected back in two weeks. She remained in the hospital until a few days after the closing. 

On April 25, 1947, that day's New York Times theatre column reported that the production was in danger of closing. The item mentioned that the production's weekly running cost was $27,500.

Iva Withers officially took over the role of Julie Jordan on January 1, 1946, replacing Jan Clayton. As understudy, Withers is known to have played some performances before that. It would seem that Withers must have either unofficially took over at least somewhat earlier as Clayton left Carousel to play Magnolia in the 1946 revival of Show Boat. That production opened on January 5, 1946. It did not play an out-of-town tryout, but it did play four previews in New York at the Ziegfeld Theatre starting on January 1, 1946, which was a Tuesday. It's hard to imagine that Clayton was still playing Julie Jordan till Monday, December 31, 1945.

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