Carrie (musical): Wikis

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Carrie
Carrie the Musical Poster.jpg
Poster for the original R.S.C. Production
Music Michael Gore
Lyrics Dean Pitchford
Book Lawrence D. Cohen
Basis Stephen King's novel Carrie
Productions 1988 Stratford Upon Avon
1988 Broadway

Carrie: The Musical is a musical with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and music by Michael Gore. Carrie is seen as a reversal of the fairy tale Cinderella.

Adapted from Stephen King's novel Carrie, it focuses on an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother. When she is humiliated by her classmates at the high school prom, she wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in her path.

Contents

History

Inspired by a 1981 performance of Alban Berg's opera Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera House,[1] Lawrence D. Cohen, who wrote the script for the 1976 film version of Carrie, and Michael Gore began work on a musical based on the Stephen King novel. Gore's Fame collaborator, Dean Pitchford, was brought in to work on the project, which underwent numerous rewrites.[2] In August 1984, a workshop of the first act was staged at 890 Broadway (New York City) with Annie Golden as Carrie, Maureen McGovern as Mrs. White, Laurie Beechman as Mrs. Gardiner, and Liz Callaway as Chris. It was soon announced that Carrie would be produced on Broadway in 1986.[3] Funding was not raised until late 1987.

The show was produced by Friedrich Kurz and the Royal Shakespeare Company and had its first four-week run beginning on February 13, 1988 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, where it received mixed reviews. Directed by Terry Hands and choreographed by Debbie Allen, the cast included Broadway veteran and cabaret singer Barbara Cook, Charlotte d'Amboise, Gene Anthony Ray, Darlene Love, and Linzi Hateley, in her stage debut, as Carrie.

The production was plagued with script and technical problems. For starters, the crew were unable to douse Hateley with fake blood without causing her microphone to malfunction. Rewrites continued following each show,[4] and the program cited a song ("Once I Loved a Boy") which was rewritten and renamed ("When There's No One") prior to the first performance. Cook was nearly decapitated by an elaborate set piece on opening night, so she promptly resigned but agreed to stay on until a replacement could be cast, which was for the remainder of the Stratford run of the show. [3] A musical section of the Shower Room Scene (which has come to be known as Her Mother Should Have Told Her) was removed after the initial few performances, and another song, "White Star", was later excised.

The show transferred to Broadway at an expense of $8 million (at the time an exorbitant amount). Hateley (who ultimately won a Theatre World Award) and other members of the UK cast remained with the show, but Cook was replaced by Betty Buckley (who had played the teacher Miss Collins in the 1976 film version).

The show started previews on April 28, 1988 at the Virginia Theatre. After the final song, boos were heard mixed in with applause. Ken Mandelbaum is quoted by Wollman, MacDermot, and Trask: "Ken Mandelbaum writes of an audience divided during early previews, the curtain calls of which were greeted with a raucous mix of cheers and boos.[5] However, in an instant, when Linzi Hateley and Betty Buckley rose to take their bows, the entire theatre turned to a standing ovation. According to the New York Times, "The show had received standing ovations at some previews, as well as on opening night..." [6] The show officially opened on May 12, 1988. Hampered by scathing reviews, and despite the fact that the theatre was sold out every night,[1] the financial backers pulled their money out of the show, and it closed on May 15, 1988 after only 16 previews and 5 performances, guaranteeing its place in theatre history as one of the most expensive disasters of all time. According to The New York Times, the "more-than-$7 million show...was the most expensive quick flop in Broadway history."[7]

Legacy

The Broadway show was instantly legendary and soon inspired the title of Ken Mandelbaum's 1992 book Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops.

The show's logo

Although there is no official cast recording of the show, several bootleg audio tapes were surreptitiously made during live performances in both Stratford and New York, along with video footage shot from the audience, in addition to the professionally-made review tape sent to various journalists to promote the show. These recordings began to circulate soon after the show closed, and it was rumored in the early '90s that there were plans to record an official cast album, though it never happened. Buckley recorded the song "When There's No One" for her 1993 album Children Will Listen (the song also appeared on her 1999 album Betty Buckley's Broadway),[8] and Hateley released the title song on her album Sooner Or Later.[9] In 1999, "Unsuspecting Hearts" was recorded by Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley and released on their album of the same name.[10]

In 1999, the Stagedoor Manor theater camp in upstate New York staged their own version of Carrie. With amateur performing rights never having been released for the show, this was an illegal, unlicensed production. Much to the surprise of all involved, Michael Gore and Larry Cohen were in the audience at one of the performances. An additional two unauthorized performances were later staged at Emerson College.[11] When the play was staged at a high school in Denmark in 2001, the only soundtrack that was recorded specifically for disc was made,[12] though the songs are in Danish. In 2008 Lochaber High School in Fort William, Scotland performed an unauthorized adaptation of Carrie. The school changed the script slightly in order to make the show "flow" better. They performed the Broadway version along with a full orchestra accompaniment. Prior to the opening night of Carrie, Lochaber High School invited all the British actors from the original Carrie musical to visit the school, watch the show and meet the cast. Linzi Hateley and several members of the original chorus came to watch the show.

Early in the 21st century, playwright Erik Jackson attempted to secure the rights to stage another production of the musical, but his request was denied. Jackson eventually earned the consent of Stephen King[13] to mount a new, officially-sanctioned, non-musical production of Carrie, which debuted Off-Broadway in 2006 with female impersonator Sherry Vine in the lead role. Rarely Done Musicals, a theatre that is dedicated to performing musicals that no one else will, have announced they plan to perform a concert version of Carrie: The Musical.[14] Similarly, other unofficial spoofs have been staged over the years, most notably Scarrie the Musical,[15] Carrie White the Musical[16] and Carrie's Facts of Life,[17] which was a hybrid of Carrie and the American sitcom The Facts of Life.

During the summer of 2008, Carrie was performed by a small community theater in North Texas. After receiving a cease and desist call from the musical's composer, Michael Gore, they re-worked the entire show, incorporating songs from other popular musicals and 1980s bands.

Although Carrie is considered Broadway's biggest flop, there is a sizable cult following for it. Many fan sites have appeared with recordings and audio of the show along with the script and score for both Broadway and Stratford-upon-Avon versions.[18] Along with fan sites, petitions have appeared online as well demanding a revival for the musical.

On November 20th 2009, a reading was done for the musical. The score and book were revised by original composers Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, and writer Lawrence D. Cohen. Songs such as Don't Waste The Moon, Dream On and Out For Blood were removed and replaced with new songs [19]. The reading was directed by Stattford Arima and starred Sutton Foster, Marin Mazzi and Molly Ranson. While the reading was successful, there has been no further news on the show as details of the reading were a tightly held secret [20].

Plot

Act I

Opening in a high school gym, the gym teacher, Miss Gardiner, is leading her girls' gym class in a strenuous workout ("In"). After class, the girls head to the locker room and have fun teasing a less attractive, plump girl named Carrie White.

The girls start to shower while talking about boys and their plans for the upcoming prom ("Dream On"). Carrie has her first period in the shower and, not understanding what is happening, thinks she is bleeding to death. The other girls taunt her mercilessly until Miss Gardiner hears the commotion, sends the girls away, and explains menstruation to Carrie.

On the way out of the gym, Sue and Chris talk about what just happened in the locker room. Sue is already feeling remorseful for her part in the incident, but Chris calls Carrie "Scary White." Carrie is hurt by their name-calling and teasing, but dreams of being vindicated and gaining respect from her peers ("Carrie").

Carrie's mother Margaret is praying ("Open Your Heart") when Carrie arrives home. Carrie joins her mother in prayer for a few minutes and then explains what happened in the locker room. Margaret tells Carrie that the blood is a sign of her sin ("And Eve Was Weak") and forces her into the cellar to pray for forgiveness.

That night, many of the high school students are at the drive-in theater, including Sue and her boyfriend Tommy and Chris and her boyfriend Billy. Sue tells Tommy that she is still upset about what she and the other girls did to Carrie in the locker room, while Chris complains about Carrie to Billy ("Don't Waste the Moon"). While the other teenagers are at the drive-in, Carrie and Margaret are home praying ("Evening Prayers"). Margaret prays for the strength to help her daughter while Carrie, depressed, questions God's love for her. Margaret apologizes for hurting Carrie and assures her that she loves her unconditionally.

At school the following day, Miss Gardiner tells the girls they must all apologize to Carrie. Sue and the other girls comply, but Chris refuses. Upset, Miss Gardiner tells Chris that she will not be allowed to go to the prom, and Chris vows revenge. Miss Gardiner encourages Carrie to dream about her Prince Charming ("Unsuspecting Hearts").

Still upset over the way Carrie has been treated, Sue asks Tommy to take Carrie to the prom instead of her ("Do Me a Favor"), and he reluctantly agrees. At the same time, Chris asks Billy to help her get revenge on Carrie.

Tommy surprises Carrie by knocking on her door and asking her to go to prom. Though at first confused and uneasy, Carrie eventually agrees to go with him. When she tells her mother the news ("Invited"), Margaret forbids her to go, insisting that all boys just want to take advantage of girls ("I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance"), and the prom would be an occasion of sin. Carrie reveals her supernatural powers, telling her Margaret that she is determined to attend the prom and will not be stopped.

Act II

The act opens at a pig farm while a storm rages, where Chris, Billy, and several of his friends are on a mission ("Out for Blood"). For their planned revenge on Carrie, they kill a pig and collect its blood. Back at the high school, Sue is confronted by girls who are upset that Carrie is going to the prom. Sue believes she is doing the right thing but realizes that doing the right thing is not always easy ("It Hurts to be Strong").

Getting ready for the prom, Carrie dreams about her date and, in a positive display of her special powers, she sends her dress, shoes, and hairbrush dancing through the air ("I'm Not Alone"). Margaret tries one more time to convince Carrie not to go to the prom ("Carrie (Reprise)"), but Carrie doesn't listen. She leaves for the prom with Tommy. Alone, Margaret plans to save Carrie from damnation the only way she can ("When There's No One").

Tommy and Carrie arrive at the prom ("Wotta Night") and everyone is surprised at how beautiful Carrie is. Miss Gardiner is there as a chaperone and talks to Carrie about how it feels to be in love ("Unsuspecting Hearts (Reprise)"). Carrie is nervous about dancing with Tommy, but he finally convinces her to go out on the dance floor with him ("Heaven"). As the votes for prom king and queen are cast, Tommy, Carrie, Sue, Chris, Billy, and Miss Gardiner soliloquize about the events unfolding ("Heaven (Reprise)"). Tommy and Carrie are declared king and queen of the prom, and they are crowned as the students sing the "Alma Mater."

Suddenly, Billy and Chris appear and dump a bucket of pig blood on Carrie. Humiliated and incensed, Carrie realizes her full powers. She closes off the gym exit and kills everyone present ("The Destruction"). Carrie leaves the prom and is met by her mother. Margaret comforts her daughter ("Carrie (2nd Reprise)") and then stabs her fatally, thinking it will save Carrie's soul. Carrie retaliates, killing Margaret with her powers, and she apologizes as her mother dies. Sue, the only student who was not at the prom, discovers Carrie and comforts her as she dies.

Differences from the novel

  • Billy and Chris run on stage and throw the blood on Carrie instead of dumping it from the ceiling. This was because of the difficulty in drenching Linzi Hateley in stage blood, which would clog her body microphone. Since her song "The Destruction" began almost immediately, there was no time to clear the microphone before it was needed.[21]
  • In the novel, Chris is forbidden from attending the prom because she skips detention (as punishment for teasing Carrie). In the musical, the detention is not mentioned. Chris is punished for refusing to apologize to Carrie, instead choosing to yell out her standard taunt, "Carrie White eats shit."
  • The musical does not include Carrie's destruction of the whole town following the prom, which occurs in the novel.
  • Chris and Billy are killed during the prom massacre in the musical. In the novel Carrie causes their car to crash a few hours after the prom.
  • The characters of the principal and the teacher are merged into a single character named Miss Gardiner.
  • The "sanctuary" that Margaret forces Carrie into is a cellar rather than a closet.
  • The Alma Mater is different from the Ewen High School's song in the book.

Musical numbers

Original Workshop
Act I
  • "Our Father" - Carrie
  • "Ain't It A Bitch" - Female Ensemble
  • "Dream On" - Female Ensemble
  • "Somebody Should Have Told Her" - Miss Gardner (1)
  • "Carrie/I Can Hear My Heart" - Carrie
  • "Open Your Heart" - Radio Voice, Choir, Margaret and Carrie
  • "Eve Was Weak" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Don't Waste The Moon" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Evening Prayers" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Tommy's Poem" - Tommy
  • "Do Me a Favor" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "It Only Has To Happen Once" - Miss Gardiner and Carrie (2)
  • "I Never Dreamed" - Carrie
  • "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" - Margaret
Act II
NOTE - The second act was not performed however it was written at the time. This is the song list from a surviving manuscript.
  • "Heaven (White Star)" - Sue
  • "Out For Blood" - Chris and Male Ensemble
  • "Crackerjack" - Billy
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts (Reprise)" - Carrie
  • "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance (Tag)" - Margaret
  • "Wotta Night" - Chorus
  • "Heaven" - Tommy and Carrie
  • "Alma Mater" - Chorus (3)
  • "The Destruction" - Carrie
  • "Innocent Eyes" - Margaret
  • "Carrie (Finale)" - Margaret and Sue
 (1) - This song is listed during the beginning part of Principal's Office scene in the workshop script.
       It was not performed in the actual workshop.
 (2) - By the time the script to the workshop was archived, this song had already been replaced by "Unsuspecting Hearts".
 (3) - This is a different version of the song.
Stratford
Act I
  • "Overure" - Orchestra
  • "In" - Miss Gardiner and Female Chorus
  • "Dear Lord" - Carrie
  • "Dream On" - Female Chorus
  • "Somebody Should Have Told Her" - Miss Gardner and Sue
  • "Carrie" - Carrie
  • "Open Your Heart" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Eve Was Weak" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Don't Waste the Moon" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Evening Prayers" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts" - Miss Gardiner and Carrie
  • "Do Me a Favor" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Invited" - Carrie
  • "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" - Margaret and Carrie
Act II
  • "Crackerjack" - Chris, Billy, and Male Chorus
  • "Heaven (White Star)" - Sue
  • "I'm Not Alone" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Reprise)" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "When There's No One" - Margaret (1)
  • "Wotta Night" - Chorus
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts (Reprise)" - Miss Gardiner
  • "Heaven" - Tommy
  • "Heaven (Octet)" - Entire Company
  • "Alma Mater" - Chorus
  • "The Destruction" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Finale)" - Margaret
 (1) - This song replaced "Once I Loved A Boy" during previews.
Broadway
Act I
  • "Overture" - Orchestra (1)
  • "In" - Miss Gardiner and Female Chorus
  • "Dear Lord" - Carrie (2)
  • "Dream On" - Female Chorus
  • "Carrie" - Carrie
  • "Open Your Heart" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Eve Was Weak" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Don't Waste the Moon" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Evening Prayers" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts" - Miss Gardiner and Carrie
  • "Do Me a Favor" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Invited" - Carrie
  • "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" - Margaret and Carrie
Act II
  • "Out for Blood" - Chris, Billy, and Male Chorus (3)
  • "It Hurts to be Strong" - Sue
  • "I'm Not Alone" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Reprise)" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "When There's No One" - Margaret
  • "Wotta Night" - Chorus
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts (Reprise)" - Miss Gardiner
  • "Heaven" - Tommy
  • "Heaven (Septet)" - Entire Company (4)
  • "Alma Mater" - Chorus
  • "The Destruction" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Finale)" - Margaret
 (1) - The "Overture" was rewritten when the show transferred. Modeled after "The Destruction".
 (2) - Complete lyric changes to the song. Removing all references to "God".
 (3) - Complete lyric changes to the chorus. No longer referenced Crackerjacks.
 (4) - Margaret's solos and counterpoint were removed when the show transfered.
2009 Reading
Act I
  • "Our Father" - Chorus
  • "In" - Chorus
  • "Carrie" - Carrie
  • "Open Your Heart" - Radio Voice, Choir, Margaret and Carrie
  • "Eve Was Weak" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "The World According To Chris" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Evening Prayers" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Tommy's Poem" - Tommy
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts" - Miss Gardiner and Carrie
  • "Do Me a Favor" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, and Chorus
  • "Invited" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" - Margaret and Carrie
Act II
  • "A Night We'll Never Forget" - Sue, Tommy, Chris, Billy, Carrie, and Chorus
  • "You Shine" - Tommy and Sue
  • "Why Not Me" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Reprise)" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "When There's No One" - Margaret
  • "A Night We'll Never Forget (Reprise)" - Chorus
  • "Unsuspecting Hearts (Reprise)" - Miss Gardiner
  • "Tommy's Poem (Reprise)" - Tommy and Carrie
  • "I Believe In Getting Even/A Night We'll Never Forget (Reprise)" - Entire Company
  • "Alma Mater" - Chorus
  • "The Destruction" - Carrie
  • "Carrie (Finale)" - Margaret and Carrie
  • "Our Father (Reprise)" - Company

Cast

Character Workshop Stratford Broadway 2009 Reading Description
Carrie White Annie Golden Linzi Hateley Linzi Hateley Molly Ranson Main character, seen as an shy outcast. While showering at school, Carrie has her first period which prompts the events of the musical. Carrie discovers she has extraodinary powers and uses them for revenge when she is attacked with pig's blood at her prom. Carrie kills her entire class and the teachers but is eventually stabbed by her mother. Carrie is perceived as a Cinderella-type character. Killed by her mother.
Margaret White Maureen McGovern Barbara Cook Betty Buckley Marin Mazzie Carrie's religious mother; although she is abusive towards Carrie she loves her unconditionally and often sings of it. She eventually fatally stabs Carrie believing it will save her from hell. Killed by Carrie.
Sue Snell Liz Calloway Sally Ann Triplett Sally Ann Triplett Jennifer Damiano Perhaps the most innocent character in the show. At first Sue hates Carrie and taunts her but soon feels remorse for what she has done and asks her boyfriend, Tommy, to take Carrie to prom. Sue witnesses Carrie's rage, but despite that she comforts Carrie during her last moments.
Tommy Ross Paul Gygnell Paul Gygnell Matt Doyle Carrie's version of Prince Charming. At first Tommy takes no interest in Carrie but takes her to the prom after his girlfriend, Sue, asks him to. Tommy is apprehensive but soon finds himself falling in love with Carrie. Tragically he dies when Carrie takes her revenge, although he had no hand in the prank. Killed by Carrie.
Chris Hargensen Charlotte d'Amboise Charlotte d'Amboise Diana DeGarmo The main villainess/antagonist of the show. Chris dislikes Carrie. She feels no remorse at all for what she does to Carrie and plans revenge after she is forbidden from attending the prom. She has the idea for the blood prank and is the one who actually does it. Chris dies during Carrie's revenge. Killed by Carrie.
Billy Nolan Gene Anthony Ray Gene Anthony Ray John Arthur Greene The "not-so-smart" boyfriend of Chris. Although he is not in school he plans to take Chris to prom until Chris is forbidden from attending the event. He helps in the blood prank and is killed along with Chris. Killed by Carrie.
Miss Gardner Laurie Beechman Darlene Love Darlene Love Sutton Foster Carrie's "Fairy Godmother". At first she is disgusted by what she sees in the shower but soon realises Carrie has no idea what is actually happening. She explains to Carrie about menstruation and eventually about boys and prom. She is pleased to see Carrie happy during prom. Killed by Carrie.

Awards and nominations

References

  1. ^ a b Carrie's DVD featurette ("Singing Carrie"). United Artists. 2002.  
  2. ^ "Carrie R.S.C. Program, "A Musical of Carrie?" p. 14". The Royal Shakespeare Company. 1988. http://carriefansite.blogspot.com/2008/02/musical-of-carrie.html.  
  3. ^ a b Mandelbaum 348
  4. ^ "Linzi Hateley "Green Room Radio" Interview". http://www.greenroomradio.com/. http://www.greenroomradio.com/?p=59.  
  5. ^ Wollman, Elizabeth L., MacDermot, Galt, and Trask, Stephen (2006), The theater will rock, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0472115766, p. 140.
  6. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn. "After Seven Years and $7 Million, 'Carrie' Is A Kinetic Memory", The New York Times, May 17, 1988, p. C15.
  7. ^ Rothstein, p. C15
  8. ^ "Betty Buckley on record". Betty Buckley: The Official Website. http://bettybuckley.com/biography/record/. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  9. ^ "Linzi Hateley Recordings". The Official Linzi Hateley website. http://unofficiallinzihateley.homestead.com/recordings.html.  
  10. ^ "Unsuspecting Hearts". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Unsuspecting-Hearts-Emily-Skinner/dp/B000028TV8/ref=m_art_li_2.  
  11. ^ YouTube clip of the Emerson College performance
  12. ^ "Carrie » Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium Cast". CastAlbums.org. http://www.castalbums.org/recordings/5401. Retrieved 2008-02-29.  
  13. ^ "Eric Jackson Interview". horrorking.com. http://www.horrorking.com/interview-hk1.html. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  14. ^ "Review of Carrie". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/arts/26weekahead.html. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  15. ^ "Hell in a Handbag's Scarrie site". handbagproductions.org. http://www.handbagproductions.org/history/scarrie/scarrie.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  16. ^ "Sci-Fi Dimensions Review". scifidimensions. http://www.scifidimensions.com/Jul02/carriewhite.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  17. ^ "Carrie's Facts of Life - Official Site". norunningwithscissors.com. http://www.norunningwithscissors.com/carrie.html. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  18. ^ Unofficial Carrie website
  19. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/134726-Foster-Mazzie-Ranson-and-Damiano-Head-Carrie-Reading-in-NYC-Nov.-20
  20. ^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/AllStar_CARRIE_Reading_is_Out_For_Blood_1120_20091120
  21. ^ Skal, p. 370
  • Mandelbaum, Ken (1992). Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops, pp. 3–9. 347-356, St. Martin Press. ISBN 0312082738

External links

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