By Adam Hetrick
12 Nov 2009
|Photo by Joan Marcus (Foster); Aubrey Reuben (Mazzie)|
As previously reported, Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, Somewhere in Time, London's Ragtime) will direct the 29-hour Equity reading that will take place in Manhattan Nov. 20.
The cast will feature Foster (Shrek, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as gym teacher Ms. Gardner, Mazzie (Passion, Ragtime) as Margaret White, Molly Ranson (August: Osage County) as Carrie and Damiano (Next to Normal, Spring Awakening) as Sue.
Also revealed are "American Idol" finalist Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger) as Chris, Matt Doyle (Spring Awakening, Bye Bye Birdie) as Tommy and John Arthur Greene (West Side Story) as Billy.
Tony-winning producer Jeffrey Seller (In the Heights, Avenue Q, Rent) has reunited composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen to take another look at the property. Stephen Oremus (9 to 5, Wicked) will musical direct the industry reading.
"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 Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford collaborated with "Carrie" screenwriter Lawrence D. 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.