BWW BLOG: SOMEONE WILL KNOW HER NAME - CARRIE THE MUSICAL TAKES ON LAS VEGAS
Jess here. I am once again blown away by Majestic Repertory Theatre. I just got to see their extremely successful run of the musical "Carrie" based on Stephen King's cult-classic. Carrie is the story of an extremely tormented teenage girl. Upon getting her first period at a late age, she realizes that she has telekinetic powers. As she struggles with harsh bullying and incredible religious pressure, she wants nothing more than to be like the other kids. One kind girl, however, wants to make things up to Carrie by helping her go to Prom, but as the event unfolds all hell breaks loose as Carrie White takes control with a homicidal vengeance.
I could go on forever raving about the performance of Arianna Mercy as Carrie White. This emotionally and vocally taxing musical could not compete with the raw talent of this young performer. Mercy is a force to be reckoned with, from her outstanding vocals to her incredible acting. Her performance was truly unforgettable, and I am positive that the entertainment world will be hearing from her soon. Her mother in the show, Annette Houlihan Verdolino demonstrated the perfect image of a seasoned actor. It's often difficult to find the positives in an antagonistic character, but her immense skill made the audience recognize her character's emotions and reasoning. Her vocals were also incredible, and they worked very well when mixed with Mercy's. Sue Snell, played by young prodigy Annabella Hunt, and Chris Hargensen by mega-voice Mary Rose Stark had a perfectly imperfect relationship at play. The downfall of their friendship was well executed and allowed both actresses to show off their technical abilities. Each of their voices shined in their solos, as well as ensemble work. RJ Viray's charismatic persona as Tommy Ross also served as a nice contrast to Joey Derby's deeply cynical Billy Nolan. Miss Gardener (Stephanie Miller Claydon) and Mr. Stephens (John Hughes) did a great job emulating the seemingly misunderstanding teacher stereotype. Their presence wasn't overpowering, but just prevalent enough to show the importance of teachers' attitudes in students' lives. There are plenty of other performers I'd love to address, including Taylor Ann Powers, Almog Aybar Agron, Kyara Isis, Derek Silva, David Tovar, Armando Macias Jr., and Joey Cooper. This group had to develop extreme endurance due to the small size of the cast. Serving as the ensemble, these actors were in nearly every scene, and were invaluable in helping to keep the production cohesive.
There is no show without technicians. The Scenic Design by Tennessee Spelmane and Lighting Design by Cory Covell and Todd Von Bastiaans all worked perfectly together to translate the inevitably dark tone of the show. The costumes by Kathy Wusnack and Shannon Reffner were simple and served the plot well. I'd also like to recognize Julia Dreitzer, Mary Wantland, and Mckenna Roundy for demonstrating professionalism and dedication while also juggling their academic demands. Attending high school and working on a crew is no easy task, and these lovely ladies handled it incredibly well, which will continue to serve them as they leave for college this fall to pursue their careers.
"Carrie" had me on the edge of my seat from the overture to the finale. Director Troy Heard's undying dedication to the arts is visible in all of the work he produces and this show could not have come together without his artistic creativity. I'd like to thank Troy and the cast for giving me a night I'll never forget!
"Stay a child while you can be a child" -Stephen Sondheim