Tony Award winners Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!) and John Cullum (Shenandoah), along with Tony nominees Kate Burton (Hedda Gabler) and Jessie Mueller (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), have joined the cast of the New York Philharmonic's upcoming presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, running February 27-March 2 at Avery Fisher Hall. John Rando (A Christmas Story) directs the concert production, which, as previously reported, stars three-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara (Nice Work if You Can Get It), and Metropolitan Opera stars Nathan Gunn and Stephanie Blythe.
Inspired by the 1909 Hungarian play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, the Maine-set Carousel follows the ill-fated romance between millworker Julie Jordan (O'Hara) and gruff carousel barker Billy Bigelow (Gunn). The score of the classic 1945 musical contains American songbook staples like "You'll Never Walk Alone," "June is Bustin' Out All Over," and "If I Loved You."
The principal company will feature Blythe as Nettie Fowler, Hensley as the villainous Jigger Cragin, Burton as Mrs. Mullin, Mueller as Julie's friend, Carrie Pipperidge, and Cullum as the Starkeeper/Dr. Seldon. Jason Danieley (Curtains) will play the fisherman Enoch Snow, replacing the previously announced Alexander Gemignani, who has withdrawn due to scheduling conflicts. The concert is conducted by Rob Fisher and choreographed by Tony nominee Warren Carlyle (Chaplin).
In addition to the live show, the production will be telecast on PBS on Friday, April 26 as part of Live from Lincoln Center. In an example of life coming full circle, the broadcast will be hosted by Audra McDonald, who won her first of five Tony Awards for her performance as Carrie in the musical's 1994 Broadway revival.