With music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Carousel opened on Broadway in 1945, proving to be an immediate hit with both critics and audiences. Based on a play by Hungarian dramatist Ferenc Molnar, the musical is set in a small coastal village in Maine and tells the story of Billy Bigelow, a traveling carnival barker, and Julie Jordan, a local millworker, who fall in love and get married, only to have their dreams shattered by tragedy. Time Magazine hailed Carousel as the "best musical of the 20th century" and Rodgers and Hammerstein themselves regarded it as their personal favorite among their work. The original run was spectacularly successful, running for 890 performances. It has been repeated and revived many times since.