Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, Somewhere in Time, London's Ragtime) helms the latest incarnation of the pop musical that has been retooled by the original writers, who have refined the focus of the story, including lyric rewrites and several new songs.
Among those on hand for the first preview were Arima, the show's writers, Jason Danieley and Piper Laurie, who starred as Margaret White in the "Carrie" film.
Piper Laurie, Jason Danieley and Show's Writers Celebrate First Carrie Preview
Carrie has a score by Academy Award winner Michael Gore ("Fame," "Terms of Endearment") and Academy Award-winning lyricist Dean Pitchford ("Fame," "Footloose") and a book by original film screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen. Carrie will officially open March 1 for a run through March 25.
The cast is led by Molly Ranson (Jerusalem, August: Osage County) in the title role, opposite Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal, Passion, Ragtime) as her religiously fanatical mother, Margaret White. The cast also features Christy Altomare as Sue Snell, Carmen Cusack as gym teacher Lynn Gardner, Jeanna de Waal as Chris Hargensen, Derek Klena as Tommy Ross, Ben Thompson as Billy Nolan, Wayne Wilcox as Mr. Stephens, Corey Boardman as George, Blair Goldberg as Norma, F. Michael Haynie as Freddie, Andy Mientus as Stokes, Elly Noble as Helen, Jen Sese as Frieda, Mackenzie Bell, Jake Boyd and Anne Tolpegin.
The creative team includes Matt Williams (choreography), Mary-Mitchell Campbell (music direction and arrangements), David Zinn (set design), Emily Rebholz (costume design), Kevin Adams (lighting design), Sven Ortel (projections design), Jonathan Deans (sound design), Doug Besterman (orchestrations), AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal design), Leah J. Loukas (wig and hair design) and Rick Sordelet (fight director).
Tickets for Carrie begin at $89. Visit mcctheater.org. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street.
"Carrie" (1974) was Stephen King's first published novel. The book follows a shy teenage girl who is raised by a fanatic Christian fundamentalist mother in a small Maine town. Carrie soon discovers she has telekinetic powers and ultimately uses them to take revenge on the classmates who taunt and humiliate her throughout the novel. "Carrie" was later adapted into a 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek in the title role, with Piper Laurie as her mother and Betty Buckley in a featured role as the gym teacher.
"Fame" songwriters Gore and Pitchford collaborated with "Carrie" screenwriter Cohen on the musical adaptation which premiered in London at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1988 starring Linzi Hateley as Carrie, with Tony winner Barbara Cook as her mother. The cast also featured Tony nominee Charlotte d'Amboise, Gene Anthony Ray and Darlene Love.
Terry Hands directed the production that featured choreography by Debbie Allen, both of whom repeated their work for Broadway. The musical proved challenging to mount, with numerous special effects and the crucial plot point of dousing its leading lady with buckets of fake blood.
Carrie arrived on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre in April 1988 with Betty Buckley (a veteran of the 1976 film) replacing Cook in the role of Margaret White. Much of the original London principal cast, including Hateley, d'Amboise, Ray and Love, reprised their performances. Capitalized at over $7 million, Carrie gained cult status for being such an expensive and short-lived Broadway venture. After being derided by critics and leaving audiences divided, Carrie closed on Broadway after playing only 16 previews and 5 performances.