EXCLUSIVE: MCC Tests Carrie, With Marin Mazzie, Aaron Tveit and Molly Ranson, Nov. 9

News   EXCLUSIVE: MCC Tests Carrie, With Marin Mazzie, Aaron Tveit and Molly Ranson, Nov. 9
The writers of the 1988 cult musical Carrie are quietly gathering in New York Nov. 9 for a private reading of the latest incarnation of the pop musical about a girl with telekinetic powers.

Molly Ranson
Molly Ranson

The reading is presented under the auspices of MCC Theater, which will produce a full production of Carrie Off-Broadway during the 2011-2012 season at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, Somewhere in Time, London's Ragtime) directs.

The Nov. 9 reading allows the writers to test a new draft of the script as they work to remount the production in New York next season. The reading features actors who took part in a November 2009 reading, including Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal, Ragtime, Passion) and Molly Ranson (August: Osage County). The two previously performed the roles of Margaret and Carrie White, respectively.

Also set to participate are Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Catch Me If You Can), Annaleigh Ashford (Wicked), Corey Boardman (Altar Boyz, Next to Normal), Lewis Cleale (The Fantasticks), Emma Galvin (Our Town), Jenn Gambatese (All Shook Up), Mackenzie Mauzy (White Noise), Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening), Wesley Taylor (The Addams Family, Rock of Ages) and Tim Wright.

According to MCC's previous announcement of the Off-Broadway run, composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen have reworked the musical since its Broadway debut, with significant changes to the score.

* "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.

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