Saturday, February 17, 2007 - Sunday, March 11, 2007

This new Kennedy Center production revives the classic 1961 musical based on the film Lili, in which a young orphan girl joins a traveling circus.

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"RAVISHING! No musical in recent years has looked or sounded better on a Kennedy Center stage." 
– Peter Marks, The Washington Post   Full review

"A THREE-RING TRIUMPH! The best musical you've never seen... a sophisticated score and heartfelt lyrics. A lollipop-hued fantasy." 
– Jayne Blanchard, The Washington Times

"Where has this little gem been hiding? Delightful… timeless… never stops charming the audience!"
--Paul Harris, Variety  Full review

"MAGICAL… makes you gasp with wonder!"
--J. Wynn Rousuck, The Baltimore Sun
"Eye-catching acrobatics, energetic dance, chill-inducing aerialist stunts, engaging magic tricks, and delightful puppets. Razzle-dazzle…infused with charm. There is indeed a heart to this circus…JOYFUL!"
--Michael Toscano, TheaterMania

Discover how the Kennedy Center is bringing this great musical back to the stage with cast and creative team interviews... a sneak peek at the sets, costumes, puppets, and magic effects... background on the show... and much more! 

Read the Washington Post's feature article about the puppets of Carnival!

All-New Kennedy Center Production of the Classic American Musical!
Music and Lyrics by Bob Merrill  
Book by Michael Stewart  
Directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom  
Based on material by Helen Deutsch
Book revisions for this production by Francine Pascal
Original production directed and choreographed by Gower Champion
Produced for the Broadway stage by David Merrick 

First Mister Roberts… then Mame… now the Kennedy Center stages another brand-new revival of an American theater classic! Based on the MGM motion picture Lili, this lovely musical follows a naïve young orphan girl who eagerly joins a traveling French circus. Falling for the troupe's manipulative magician, she also enchants a disillusioned puppeteer, who can only show his love through his whimsical creations. Colorful characters, delightful puppets, wonderful dance sequences, theatrical magic, and memorable songs like "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" make Carnival! a mesmerizing musical. Featuring a book by Michael Stewart (Hello, Dolly!) and music and lyrics by Bob Merrill (Funny Girl), the revival will be directed by Tony nominee Robert Longbottom, who helmed Mister Roberts to glowing reviews.

Please Note:  This performance runs two hours, without intermission.


  • Bob Merrill - Music And Lyrics
  • Michael Stewart - Book


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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.