Carrie: The Musical was just what the title tells us, a staged version of the cult-film classic Carrie, based upon the novel by horror genre specialist, Stephen King.
What made this Carrie different from the others was that it focused less on the blood & horror & supernatural powers, and more upon the relationship between Carrie & her mother & the bullying to which Carrie was endlessly subjected by her wretched little peers in high school.
The San Francisco theatrical run was all too brief, 4th October–2nd November 2013–just under a month. I was impressed by the high level of production values & the collective & individual interpretations with which the actor-singers endowed their roles. It was clear that this was a collaboration done from the heart by all. The utter fear of being left alone (which motivated Margaret White, Carrie’s mother) was something that grabbed the audience at the gut level without letting go. We all seem to understand fear. The vocal ability of Heather Orth as Margaret White, was the foundation from which all Hell broke loose. Her interpretation of Carrie’s mother was chilling–and prevented this musical from being just another campy homage to the previously filmed versions. The show was well written & Heather Orth brought it the haunting life & intense darkness that it demanded. She was the kind of mother who would not let Carrie daydream or eat Nilla wafers. She would have warned Carrie that Nilla wafers were sacrelgious, and an offense to God. These were her values & she fully intended for Carrie to live them out, to make Carrie different from the others, so that she could isolate her & keep her to herself, as a protection from her own inevitable demise, in a world where all of us have a limited shelf life. Margaret White was determined that her time on this earth would not be interfered with by Carrie being contaminated by any outsider, and high school prom dating represented a huge threat to her control over Carrie.
No happy ending here, except, perhaps, in the Redemption of one classmate who tried to make amends for taking part in the bullying, which ended with a calamity which was rivaled only by the maiden voyage of Titanic. They did indeed strike an iceberg, but did so without over reliance upon special effects, allowing their audience the dignity of going within, remembering their young years. We all grew a little with this performance–BRAVO to the Ray of Light Theatre for a job well done!
You Tube of 2013 CARRIE (the film) remake.
All Hell breaks loose, as you cannot keep what needs to be free in the closet.
You Tube of the 1976 original film Carrie.
Genesis of what became Carrie: The Musical
THE GENESIS OF THE GENESIS: Interview With Novelist Stephen King.
“It made me what I am today.”
His reference to health care is as timely today as it was when he gave this interview.
His definition of COMMUNITY: “The Shock of Recognition.”
THE SHOCK OF RECOGNITION:
We All Can Be Carrie–But we don’t really want to, not in real life.