PHOTO CALL: Inside the Recording Studio with Carrie
By Matthew Blank
The cast of the revised Off-Broadway production of Carrie, including leading ladies Molly Ranson and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie, assembled in a Manhattan recording studio April 17 to record the pop musical for Ghostlight Records.
Ranson (Jerusalem, August: Osage County) starred in the title role of the bullied teen who takes vengeance on her classmates during their senior prom. Tony Award nominee Mazzie (Next to Normal, Passion, Ragtime) played her mother Margaret, a religious fanatic, who seeks to protect her daughter from sin.
A release date for Carrie has not been announced. Composer Michael Gore and multi-Grammy Award winner Joel Moss produce the album, with Ghostlight Records' Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producer.
A future licensing life for Carrie has not been announced. The New York Times reported that Boston's SpeakEasy Stage Company expressed interest in staging the production; however, it was not part of the company's April 16 season announcement.
Carrie began Off-Broadway previews Jan. 31 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and officially opened March 1. It ended its run April 8, two weeks short of an announced extension through April 22. It played 34 previews and 46 performances.
The original 1988 writing team of Academy Award-winning composer Michael Gore ("Fame," "Terms of Endearment"), Academy Award-winning lyricist Dean Pitchford ("Fame," "Footloose") and "Carrie" film screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen returned to work on Carrie, which was shaped by director Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, London's Ragtime) as a more intimate tale of parental control, bullying and school politics.
"I'm extremely proud of this score, and it's a thrill to be recording this new MCC production with this fantastic cast. There have been so many requests for a recording over the years, so it's wonderful to be sending this out into the world at last!," Gore said in a statement.
The original Broadway production starred Linzi Hateley as Carrie and Tony winner Betty Buckley as Margaret. A cast album of the short-lived musical was never recorded, though bootleg live recordings have been a must-have for cult theatre fans. During her 1996 Carnegie Hall concert, Buckley reunited with Hateley to perform songs from Carrie, but the material was not included on the album from that evening.
The Ghostlight Records album will mark Carrie's debut on disc. Pre-order information will be available at Sh-K-Boom.
"Preserving Carrie with the first real cast album insures that SHE will never die," Deutsch said in a statement. "I look forward to releasing on Ghostlight and hope that this album sparks the imagination of the next generation of musical theatre artists and builds excitement for future productions to be licensed both nationally and internationally."
The Off-Broadway revival preserved much of the original 1988 Broadway musical material penned for the characters of Carrie and Margaret, while a handful of new songs were added for the ensemble and supporting characters.
The Playbill for the revised Off-Broadway production lists the following songs:
The cast also featured 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 included 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).
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