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Stage Door Theatre presents the musical Carnival January 22 – February 28, 2016.  Acclaimed for its magic, simplicity, and compassion, Carnival blends music, comedy, and pathos into what has been referred to as “America’s Magical Musical”. Adapted from the 1953 film Lili, which was in turn based on short story by Paul Gallico (‘The Man Who Hated People’), Carnival tells the tale of Lili, an orphan, who arrives at a small European carnival seeking a friend of her late father’s and, she hopes, an offer of a home. There she is pulled between two masculine forces in the company: magician Marco the Magnificent and Paul, a misanthropic puppeteer.   Michael Stewart (Hello Dolly) wrote the book, and Bob Merrill (lyricist for Funny Girl and numerous pop songs including “How Much is that Doggie in the Window”) wrote Carnival’s music and lyrics.

Carnival debuted in 1961 won several awards, including two Tony Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as Best Musical of 1962. The title song “Theme from Carnival (Love Makes the World Go ‘Round)” has become a standard in the lexicon of American musical theatre.

Stage Door’s artistic director Dan Kelley will direct the production said: “I’m so excited about this show. I love a challenge and this project provided many. Where do I the find puppets that play such an important part in the story? I knew Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut did a production of Carnival in 2010, so I gave them a call – and the next thing I knew I had rented the complete set that were designed and built by master puppeteer Robert Smythe. And the puppets were underwritten by a very generous donation from The Friends of the Cultural Arts!” he continued.  “I had to find an ensemble that not only could sing and dance but also had to possess all sorts of crazy circus skills, so I put an ad in Playbill and was lucky to find ten very talented and flexible, performers – our audiences will see jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, and puppeteers.”

“The show starts out in a field and the performers erect a circus tent in front of the audience-ugh- what?” he continues “I called set designer Michael McClain and he didn’t run screaming from the meeting – and his design for the show is as magical as it needs to be. So many specialty costumes needed to be built so I called Larry Bauman and he agreed and has done some beautiful sketches and is probably sewing, and cursing me, at this very moment! I needed an innovative choreographer who wasn’t daunted by this huge show and I remembered Ben Solmor and the fine work he did with last year’s production of Cabaret; I gave him a call and he agreed to join the team.  Rounding out my Carnival production staff is multiple Carbonell Award-winner and great friend, musical director David Nagy.”

Carnival will run from January 22 to February 28 at The Stage Door Theatre.  Tickets for Carnival are $38 – $42; $16 student tickets are also available.  Tickets may be purchased at the Broward Stage Door Theatre box office at 954-344-7765 or on line at Group and Subscriber Discounts are available for all Stage Door productions. For more information about Carnival and/or The Stage Door Theatre, please visit , or contact Derelle Bunn Executive Producer/Artistic Director, at / 954-344-7765