Thursday, February 2, 2012
OK, so i have never seen the cult movie (shame on me, i know). I also didn't get to see the prior incarnation on Broadway that cost over $8 Million and lasted a sum total of 16 previews and 5 performances (all sold out, i note) before closing to scathing reviews which caused the backers to pull their money out. It was so bad in its last incarnation that it drove Ken Mandelbaum to name his book of musical flops, Not since Carrie, Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops, after it.
Ladies and Gentleman, this new production is nothing like its predecessor. Nothing! It's young, fresh, easy on the eyes, less bloody and bat-shit-crazy, and employs some pretty nifty video projection technology to enhance the story. Religion is present, but not overplayed. The true story of love, bullying, fear, friendship, and forgiveness shines thru like a beacon in the fog. The music and lyrics by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford fill the entire theatre (yes, that absolute dump on Christopher Street). Choreography by Matt Williams is light, modern, and engaging, although everything with high school kids seems to remind me of Spring Awakening these days.
Without a single doubt, Molly Ranson (Carrie White) and Marin Mazzie (Margaret White) are both engaged in Tony-worthy performances (if, of course, an off-Broadway show could indeed be nominated!). As a matter of fact, although this show is off-Broadway at the Lortel Theatre (the aforementioned dump), if i didn't actually know that, I'd come out suggesting multiple Tony noms for this production.
Yes, I know it really sounds odd that a musical about a Stephen King book might be a good idea, but at its core, this show has heart. Lots of it. And now that we have some decent technology, nobody has to actually attempt to blow up the stage 8 times a week. Mean kids, bullying, a jock with a heart, and a beautiful girl hidden behind her fears take this former flop to great new heights. Don't miss your chance to see the a makeover every producer of HGTV programming would be jealous of. Carrie looks like the surprise musical sensation of the season!