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7.3 Musical: Carrie [AK]




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This article is from the Theatre FAQ, by aku@leland.Stanford.EDU (Andrew Chia-Tso Ku) with numerous contributions by others.

7.3 Musical: Carrie [AK]

[Most of the following information comes from Ken Mandelbaum's
book "Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops"
St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-06428-4. An entertaining read, and
highly recommended.]

Yes, there indeed was a musical based on Stephen King's 1974 novel.
A workshop of the musical was done in 1984, with book by Lawrence D.
Cohen (who also wrote the screenplay of Brian DePalma's movie),
music by Michael Gore (FAME, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT), and lyrics by
Dean Pitchford (FAME, FOOTLOOSE). The Broadway production was
financed by Friedrich Kurz, a West German producer famous up to
that point for producing German productions of ALW hits, and co-
produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company (they had no financial
stake in the show). The Anglo-American cast, headed by Linzi
Hateley as Carrie and Barbara Cook as Mrs. White, had a brief
sold out run at Stratford upon Avon in February 1988. Cook was
nearly decapitated by the set on opening night, and left after the
show finished its Stratford run. When the show began previews on
Broadway on April 28, 1988, Mrs. White was played by Betty
Buckley. After two weeks of previews, CARRIE opened May 12, 1988 to
horrible reviews (but praise for Hateley and Buckley) and closed on
May 15, 1988, four performances later. The production lost $8 million.

Audience reaction was reportedly wildly mixed, ranging from boos to
cheers and wild applause. Those who have heard the show's music
have said that it compares favorably with modern pop/middle-of-the-road
scores, most partcularly, CHESS. Sadly, a cast recording was never
made, as was initially planned. A concert version of the show,
to be recorded, also fell through, although the song "When There's
No One" appears on Betty Buckley's solo album "Children Will Listen".
At the end of 1993, there was renewed talk of a cast recording being
made.

 

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