12 Broadway Actresses We'd Like to Steal the Carousel Revival as Carrie Pipperidge
August 9th, 2017
by Josh Ferri
Tony nominee Joshua Henry and Tony winner Jessie Mueller are set to lead Jack O’Brien’s upcoming Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic Carousel—and while we are counting the minutes until Josh Henry’s “Soliloquy”, another question keeps gnawing at the brain: who will play the coveted featured role of Carrie Pipperidge?! Originally played by Jean Darling then by Barbara Cook in the 1954 revival, and then by breakout performer Audra Ann McDonald (who won her first of her record-breaking six Tony Awards for her performance as Carrie in the last revival), Carrie brings the humor to this somewhat dark musical about love and death.
After an office brainstorm, here are a dozen actresses we’d love to see star alongside Henry & Mueller in Carousel.
The Tony-nominated Miss Saigon star has the youth, energy, and talent to nail this role. She’s so full of life and vigor in person, and it would be great to see it onstage. Her as Carrie is such a foil to the heavy drama of her current role as Kim. She could blow NYC away once again.
2. Betsy Wolfe
Beautiful and fun, she is the best friend you’d want to see opposite Jessie Mueller. Just think of what a breath of fresh air she was as Cordelia in Falsettos. Also, her vocals would just knock us all away (as always). Also, there’s no mentioning Betsy Wolfe without mentioning that you must go see her in Waitress.
3. Alex Finke
If you’ve seen this former Cosette in downtown’s Sweeney Todd, you know just how funny she is onstage. Her Johanna is so human and so captivating. I could just imagine her telling Julie the story of her and Enoch’s trip to New York and having the audience in stitches.
This would be an interesting pivot for the breakout star of On Your Feet!—something classic. Again, her Carrie would be brimming with life and even when she is wealthy later in act two, you’d still see the sweet girl from the mill.
5. Joaquina Kalukango
If Joaquina brought half of what she brought as Nettie in The Color Purple or Kate in Encores! The Wild Party, this Carousel would be in mighty fine hands. She is a star waiting for the right role to catapult her.
6. Denee Benton
Just think how she plays Act One of The Great Comet—that’s the effortless charisma and zest for life you want in a Carrie.
7. Phillipa Soo
She’s more a Julie Jordan type, but she’s the rare kind of ingénue who could make you laugh and for that she made the list. Imagine her “Mister Snow”?!
8. Mamie Parris
This Cats star got amazing buzz from the Broadway community for her Grizabella. She's funny and scrappy and she has the legit soprano!
9. Adrienne Warren
During Shuffle Along this Tony nominee proved she only needed a few moments to walk away with a musical. She’s such a versatile performer, there’s no end to what she could play, including Carrie.
10. Alexandra Silber
Ali Silber actually was Julie Jordan in London and Los Angeles but again there’s no pigeonholing this talent. She can play Julie; she can play Carrie; and in 25 years, she can play Nettie Fowler.
11. Lindsay Mendez
Who lands a joke like Lindsay Mendez? This former Wicked and Significant Other star is not the traditional soprano Carrie is normally played by, but she was 10th anniversary Elphie so vocals aren’t an issue.
12. Anna Kendrick
This Oscar and Tony nominee hasn’t been on Broadway since 1998, so what a return it would be. It’s low pressure—she’s not carrying a musical—and she can sell the show on The Tonight Show and The View, which could help sustain the run.
Bonus: Jenn Gambatese
I’ve seen the current School of Rock star play Carrie opposite Laura Osnes in Chicago and Teal Wicks at Goodspeed, and her Carrie is INCREDIBLE! It would be a thrill for New York audeinces to see it.