Review of Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience

Posted: November 25, 2015, 09:31:49

I got an email from Ami Sandler the other day and he told me that he had been to the Carrie musical in Los Angeles on October 24 at the Los Angeles Theatre and from what I understand, it's something you don't want to miss out on.

Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience
Log Angeles Theatre
October 24, 2014

Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience was more than just entertaining: it was alive! From the moment you arrived at the Los Angeles Theatre, you were immersed in the theme of the performance. The doors on the outside of the venue showed hands of Carrie’s victims trying to leave the gymnasium. Inside the entryway, guests were greeted as if they were arriving for the prom. There were prom posters, as well as a photo booth for guests to take free photos against a backdrop using several props. Once inside the theatre, attendees could venture downstairs towards the restrooms for several themed rooms fitting for the musical. One was set up like a gym locker room, with one locker open with items bearing Sue Snell’s name. The other side of the locker room featured showers and tiles, with a bloody message for Carrie.

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Other areas/rooms of the Theatre featured a pig farm, where a pig appeared to be murdered, lying dead next to sledgehammer and a bucket full of blood. Towards the restrooms, a mirror had Margaret White’s classic message to Carrie written in “blood” and featured bloody handprints. All throughout the restrooms, bloody handprints were all over the sink areas, the stalls and tile floor/walls. Other areas featured chairs that had been knocked over with prom memorabilia around them. One spot had three full-size lockers set up, and the middle one was opened to represent Carrie’s locker. Inside were some textbooks, a religious artifact, and a notebook (composition book) with Carrie’s name on it.

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Inside the seating area was an amazing sight, even before the production began. The “gymnasium” set was built on top of the existing orchestra seats, so it was elevated a few feet from the entry floor. The back of the seating area looked like a gym entrance to Ewen High School, and the stage looked like an actual gym floor. The seats were built like gym bleachers, with four sets of “senior sections” actually on the gym floor. These seats actually became part of the production once the play began, and stagehands/actors moved the four areas many times to really give those viewers an experience. The other seats were designated sophomore or junior, depending on ticket prices. The backdrop for the stage featured student desks, and other elements that gave the audience a feeling of really being on a high school campus.

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The musical had two acts, the first with 11 songs and the second with 14 songs. The concept of the musical was from the perspective of Sue Snell, who seemed to be haunted by the night of May 28. She’s the narrator throughout the play at several points, with a single white spotlight on her face as she recounts the events that took place. The production was fairly true to the novel, but also had some modern aspects as well (cell phone use by the students, modern day references, etc.). Several scenes of the play featured some amazing props designed to show off Carrie’s telekinesis powers, and items seemed to move without anyone touching them. Another scene featured Carrie and Margaret was a duet song with them on stage alone, along with a life size crucifix hanging that lowered behind them from above the stage. It seemed almost too real, and during one part of the song, the life size “Jesus” begins to move, hovers down and reaches towards them, then elevated up into the air above the set to disappear.

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The “Prom Climax” scene and song might have been one of the best theatrical moments I have ever seen. The setup was perfect as King described it in his novel. The bloody bucket was set up and placed above the gym stage, while the prom king/queen votes get exchanged so that Carrie will be chosen as the winner. Once her name is called, Carrie went on the stage, and all hell breaks loose. The rope is pulled, and the “blood” splattered all over Carrie and her prom dress. The placement was perfect and she truly looked like very close to the image on the movie poster from 1976. She begins to use her powers to destroy the gym, and the entire set seemed to shake. Tommy gets electrocuted when wiring falls from the ceiling with sparks flying towards him. The gym lights above “explode” and confetti rained down from above our heads as if it were broken glass. The backdrop and stage itself all begin to fall apart, gym signs falter, light fixtures fall… It felt like you were in the middle of a live earthquake and were stuck inside. Most of the set around the audience really was destroyed. All the students were “locked in”, as Carrie uses her powers to shut all the doors/exits on all ends of the stage. Many of the actors attacked by Carrie spewed blood from their mouths. The sounds was immersive and the feeling was that the audience was stuck inside the gym with the others…

The musical ends with an epilogue by Sue Snell and the cast as they reflect on the entire event, years later in the gym. The final song concludes with a small white spotlight that lights up Carrie’s prom queen crown sitting alone on the gym floor on the center of the stage. The play lasted almost a full two hours, and had to have been one of the better productions I have ever seen. The cast was brilliant and had as much passion as could be as they performed. Whether I am biased as a huge Stephen King fan or not, I truly felt the Carrie musical was a sight to see and one that should not be missed.

A look at Carrie

Posted: May 16, 2013, 11:07:31

Here are som cool photos from the infamous musical Carrie closed on Broadway May 15, 1988, following just 16 previews and 5 performances.

Carrie spotlight

Posted: February 28, 2013, 22:00:50 takes a look at the first-ever high school production of Carrie, the musical based on the King horror novel, as part of our new

Thanks to Lou Sytsma

Revised “Carrie” gets Cincinnati debut

Posted: February 7, 2013, 10:28:18

September will be a scream at The Carnegie as Showbiz Players debuts the new, improved version of the horror musical “Carrie,” which famously came and went on Broadway in 1988.

Based on Stephen King’s bestseller about a misfit teen with a smother-mother and telekinetic powers, Showbiz’ Bunny Arszman promises it’s “newly reworked and fully re-imagined,” including being updated to today.

Read more here.

Thanks to Lou Sytsma

Lawrence D Cohen talks Carrie

Posted: October 5, 2012, 10:32:23

Lawrence D Cohen discusses Stephen King's Carrie: The Book, The Movie, and The Musical. Check it out here.

Resurrecting Carrie!

Posted: June 23, 2012, 21:56:07

Check out Resurrecting Carrie!, an interesting look behind the scenes of MCC Theatre's revival of Carrie The Musical.

Thanks to Herbert West

Carrie on CD

Posted: April 11, 2012, 00:17:41

Ghostlight Records will record the cast album of the revised Off-Broadway production of Carrie, the musical by Oscar winners Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore and screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, based on Stephen King's novel about a teenage girl with telekinetic powers.

Read more here.

Thanks to Lou Sytsma

Pictures of Carrie

Posted: February 8, 2012, 22:38:20

Here is an article about the musical version of Carrie as well as some photos.

Thanks to Lou Sytsma

An Outsider Gets a Nicer Date for the Prom

Posted: February 3, 2012, 11:13:45

Here is an interesting article from The New York Times about the play versions of Carrie called An Outsider Gets a Nicer Date for the Prom.

A lookback at Carrie: The Musical

Posted: January 29, 2012, 02:09:10

As the infamous musical Carrie — based on the Stephen King novel — prepares for its first-ever New York revival at MCC Theater, Playbill look back at the original UK and NYC productions and offer a glance through the pages of the Broadway Playbill.

See more here.
Thanks to Lou Sytsma

Behind Carrie the Musical

Posted: January 19, 2012, 12:51:13

Here is a behind the scenes clip from Carrie: The Musical that my favorite King blog Talk Stephen King found.

Tell and win

Posted: January 11, 2012, 12:03:41

Talk Stephen King found out that MCC Theatre runs a contest where they ask you to do a video (and upload it to YouTube) in which you tell them why you are excited about the new stage adaptation of Carrie.

Interesting concept for a contest. Would you enter if I did a contest where you had to do a video telling me why you should win the prize? Might be fun...

King enters 2012 as #1

Posted: January 1, 2012, 03:00:41

It looks as if Stephen King will be riding into the new year at #1.

Not only has 11/22/63 proven a critical success, it also seems to be King's most popular novel since 1998's Bag of Bones.

Whether it's due to variance in King's popularity or the shifting attitudes of the book-buying public in general, in recent years, King's hardcovers have been hitting the New York Times Bestseller List high and then falling down (and off) rapidly. Not so with 11/22/63. It debuted at #1 - never an oddity for King - then dropped to #2 for three successive weeks as new books by James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, and Michael Connelly each smashed in at #1 ... and fell. In its fifth week, King's time travel novel shot back up to #1, making the first King hardcover to drop from the top spot and then reclaim it since 1990's The Stand. For the last three weeks, it has held fast to #1, making it King's longest stay at #1 since Dolores Claiborne's seven-week run in 1992/93.

The critics have been very kind to this book, and with good reason, but it's really gratifying that in his fifth decade of publishing books, King is just as popular as ever, if not more so. The reading audience is changing, but they still love Stephen King. That's pretty amazing.

Thanks to Kevin Quigley

Carrie is back...

Posted: November 22, 2011, 11:10:21

Casting for the new musical version of Carrie is done. check it all out here.

There is also a new book out about Carrie in all its format. It's called Carrie: Studies in the Horror Film and written by Joe Aisenberg. Check it out here.

Thanks to Bev Vincent and Ari.

Carrie - The Musical

Posted: August 24, 2011, 14:10:39

Dread Central has the laste on Carrie - The Musical.

Carrie: The Musical

Posted: November 17, 2009, 18:15:48

Shock till you Drop has the following report about Carrie: The Musical:

Last month we got wind that a new production of Carrie: The Musical was headed to Broadway with producers Jeffrey Seller and Kevin McCollum (of Rent, Avenue Q, West Side Story) spearheading the project. Now, Playbill has announced the complete cast for the musical based upon Stephen King's novel and it looks like we have ourselves a new Carrie.

Stafford Arima will direct the 29-hour Equity reading that will take place in Manhattan Nov. 20. The cast will feature Sutton Foster as gym teacher Ms. Gardner, Marin Mazzie as Margaret White, Molly Ranson as Carrie (pictured left) and Jennifer Damiano as Sue.

Also revealed in the cast are "American Idol" finalist Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger) as Chris, Matt Doyle as Tommy and John Arthur Greene as Billy.

The Carrie ensemble includes Corey Boardman, Lilli Cooper, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Benjamin Eakeley, Emily Ferranti, Kyle Harris, Philip Hoffman, Kaitlin Kiyan, Max Kumangai, Mackenzie Mauzy, Preston Sadleir, Jonathan Schwartz, Bud Weber and Sasha Weiss.

Producer Seller has reunited composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen, whom took a crack at the stage show back in 1988 to reprise their roles for this update.

You can actually check out an official Carrie: The Musical website with plenty of tid-bits on the original show, as well as info on the new one right here.

Thanks to Bev Vincent

Diana DeGarmo and Carrie

Posted: November 13, 2009, 23:45:07

American Idol finalist Diana DeGarmo joins Carrie cast. Read more here.

Thanks to Bev Vincent

Carrie to the stage...again

Posted: October 30, 2009, 07:38:58

Dead Central reports that Carrie might get a new chance as a musical.

Here is an article about it from New York Post.