Fine Arts Corner: Carrie The Musical


Recently I went to see a production of “Carrie: The Musical”. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead at a musical theatre production, but this one is different: it’s about horny teenagers and the 1976 movie by Brian De Palma contained a generous helping of T and A. The show also promised opportunities for much bloodshed and elaborate special effects.

So I saw the show: first, the good news: there was a full orchestra there who knew what they were doing and the actors could all sing. The songs were performed well, but here’s the first problem: should they be performed at all? Songs about how “Her mother should have told her” and the love ballad “Carrie” are memorable enough, but Andrew Lloyd Webber they’re not. A bigger problem is the lack of sex and blood in the show. Due to a low budget, it’s minimalist. Also, Carrie looks hotter before the prom than during it. And it’s sappy. But it uses Stephen King’s story and it satirizes religious fanaticism, so in that sense it’s worthwhile.

The problem with both “Phantom of the Opera” and “Carrie The Musical” is that the songs defang the terror, and the romantic aspects are not sexualized enough for the material to convey an erotic charge. We need to feel teenage lust in “Carrie” and we don’t. Also the sappiness of the songs sometimes stop the show dead, as in Tommy and Sue’s love song. I mean, since Tommy’s going to die anyway, who cares if he loves Sue? Still, the performances are good, and there’s not much PC or gay stuff, so you could do a lot worse, You won’t be scared or overly titillated, but it’s a decent show that is rather entertaining and sweet.     –CoolAC