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Music by Jonathon Lynch
Lyrics by A. J. Freeman
Book by Gil Varod

Dark Comedy

The Carousel of Inevitability & Certain Foreboding


Jimmy and Donna are on their fifth date at the 1964 World Fair and having contradicting views on what a relationship should look like. They decide to avoid further discussion and go on the ride titled “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding” that takes them through historical and technological mankind accomplishments. Soon they find themselves seeing themselves reflected in the ride and can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy.


Cast Size

6 (4m, 2f)


25 Min.


The World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens, 1964




Family, Capitalism, American Values, Technology, Love

Target Audience

All Ages


Musical Theatre, Pastiche



Additional Resources




Casting Information

  • DONNA: A young 1960s woman who is wondering whether she should break away from the norms that society expects from women of the era.

  • JIMMY: A standard, happy-go-lucky young 1960s male. Essentially wholesome enough to be on a `60s sitcom.

  • KURT DIGSBY AUDIO-ANIMATRONIC: An Audio Animatronic older male. Distinguished, the creator of the Digsbyland Theme Park and the Digsby Corporation. In the finale, he appears as a frozen disembodied head.

  • ANNA AUDIO-ANIMATRONIC: The animatronic version of Donna if she had been a `60s sitcom character.

  • TIMMY AUDIO-ANIMATRONIC: The animatronic version of Jimmy, very similar to him.

  • JUNIOR AUDIO-ANIMATRONIC: The plucky son who is optimistic and excited about everything, even dying in war. Returns as a “robot” version of himself without a personality or the ability to modulate the tone of his voice.


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Casting & Songs


Production History

The one-act edition of “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding” originally

premiered as a Zoom reading via the 2020 Across a Crowded Room Festival at the New York

Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center.


JIMMY/TIMMY: Kelly Autry

DONNA/ANNA: A. J. Freeman

DIGSBY: Rick Negron

JUNIOR: Kennedy Kanagawa


The musical was awarded a Billy Rose Theatre Division Fellowship to workshop a full-length

edition of “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding” at the New York Public

Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, including a fully-produced reading in

November 2023.

Production History
Author's Bios

Author Bios

Illustrated Mountains

JONATHON LYNCH wrote “The Baroque Cycle” (best score nominee & best singer winner, Winterfest NY), and “The Turing Test” (Gallery Players), and composed “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding” (fellowship winner, NYPL Performing Arts Library), “Again and Again and Again” (development award winner, Unsung Musicals Co), “Time Travel Makes Complete Sense” & “RansomWHERE?!” (Lincoln Center), and “Slam!” (TheatreNow NY). He's also the composer of “NewB” (award-winning webseries), “Elimination” (video game), and “Canta! Songs for Learning Spanish” (album). His podcast, "Bite-Sized Broadway", which won multiple awards in its inaugural season, showcases mini-musicals of new musical writers. He also music directed “Micro-face” (NPR), assistant music directed “Finding Neverland” (pre-Broadway workshop); music directed, dance arranged, and was on-stage trumpeter of “The City Club” (Minetta Lane); and music directed & arranged “Giant Hoax” (Theatre Row). A BMI Workshop & Northwestern Alum, he's a music director at AMDA & 92NY. For more information go to

Illustrated Mountains

A. J. FREEMAN is a writer, teacher, and performer. As a lyricist/librettist A. J.'s musicals include: Tomorrow, The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding, A Cordial Invitation, Hay Fever, Derailed!, Fables, In Other Words, The Crane Wife, A Note of Explanation, What’s Her Line?, Kurt ‘n’ Pat: Spies 4 Hire!!!, and Double Double. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity. A. J. created a literacy-based musical theater nonprofit which provided free reading books and theater workshops to thousands of children across Los Angeles. Her favorite quote comes from a 2nd grader after an assembly: “I only have seven books at I’ll have eight!” A. J. is a cabaret performer, championing brilliant but forgotten music of the 1920s and 30s, and she also stubbornly continues to post a ukulele song every Monday on her youtube channel (afreeman727) despite several noise complaints from her neighbors. Follow A. J.’s adventures, musical and otherwise, here:

Illustrated Mountains

GIL VAROD is an award-winning book writer and lyricist. His musical “Oedipus for Kids!” has had productions at NYMF, 54 Below and internationally, and can be licensed via Concord Theatricals. Other notable works include “Merry Christmas You Ridiculous Gentiles” (The Duplex), “Again and Again and Again” (UnsungMusicalsCo Writer’s Lab), “The Commuters” (Riant Theatre), “time et al” (FringeNYC), “The Complete Works of Walt Disney Abridged” (Disney Imagineering), and His musicals “RansomWHERE?!” and “Time Travel Makes Complete Sense” were performed as radio musicals by “Bite-Sized Broadway”, and both are available for license by MTI along with the one-act edition of his musical “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding”. With Jonathon Lynch and A. J. Freeman, he was awarded a Billy Rose Theatre Division Fellowship to workshop the full-length edition of “The Carousel of Inevitability and Certain Foreboding” at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Billy Rose Theatre Division. Gil is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.

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