That evening, resting up after the cookout (A Real Nice Clambake), everyone
Prepares for the annual treasure hunt.
Jigger, pretending to show Carrie self-defense maneuvers, gets her into a
compromising position just as Mister Snow appears. Now the gender scuffling
turns serius, as Snow walks out on Carrie, Billy heads off with Jigger for
their robbery despite Julie's protests, and the women lament their lack of
power (Geraniums In The Winter/Stonecutters Cut It On Stone/What's The Use Of Wond'rin').
Back to the mainland, Billy and Jigger await the arrival of their intended
victim by playing twenty-one. Jigger, dealing, cheats Billy out of virtually
all his share of the coming boodle. But the robbery is foiled, Jigger escapes,
and Billy, seeing his whole life as a failure, kills himself crying, "Julie!"
The clambakers arrive, Julie only just in time to trade a few words with Billy
Before he dies. "I love you," she tells him, for the first time in her life,
After he has died. Nettie comforts her (You'll Never Walk Alone).
It's not over yet. A heavenly Friend shows up to take Billy "Up There," where
In a scene suggestive of some advanced Protestant sect's open-air meeting house,
An austere Starkeeper allows Billy to go back and resolve problems he left "Down
Here" - for instance, his daughter, Louise, who is now fifteen and as wild and
resentful as Billy was. The Starkeeper gives Billy a star to take to her as a
A ballet reveals Louise to us: as a tomboy cut-up, then as a young woman tasting
love with a boy she meets in the ruins of her father's carousel (Ballet: Pas de
Deux). She is, in effect, recreating her mother's experience, breaking out of a
Drab life in a dangerous yet wonderful relationship. But the boy wanders off,
Leaving Louise heartbroken and destructively defiant.
Back on earth with the Heavenly Friend, Billy tries to give Louise the star, she
suspiciously resists, and he slaps her face - once again, in his inarticulate
rage, failing to express his true feelings to those he loves (If I Loved You
"Common sense may tell you that the endin' will be sad" - but, at Louise's
high-school graduation, Billy heartens his daughter and tells julie "I loved
As the congregation clusters in socio-religious community, Billy, in a distance,
Climbs a great stairway to heaven (You'll Nevr Walk Alone reprise).