CAROUSEL - ROBERT GOULET
The role of Billy Bigelow was originally written for a tenor. Gordon MacRae and John Raitt sang it high. The part was transposed down for Goulet's baritone and is hugely improved by the change. The character has immeasurably more guts, grit and general low-life-ness. That it does not impair his likability much is testament to Goulet's acting. It remains a staged for television play, but CAROUSEL is one of the few plays that this air of unreality doesn't hurt. Helped, of course, by the fact that much of it is depicted on the spiritual plane. It's hard to combine the raw reality of the sailors and the hyper-reality of the heaven scenes, but this production made it work. I saw this film as a child and it remains indelibly in my memory as one of the best musical productions I've ever seen.