By John Nathan, December 11, 2008
The dark hero in the musical by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics), is the strapping fairground barker Billy Bigelow (Jeremiah James), a quick-tempered feckless dolt, prone to beating his trusting wife, Julie (Alexander Silber).
After killing himself during a botched robbery, heaven gives him a second chance at redemption. Back on earth, he hits his daughter who learns the lesson her mother has long known, that it is possible for someone to hit you hard and for it not to hurt at all. Really?