BWW Previews: Wayward Aims For Scares with CARRIE THE MUSICAL

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BWW Previews: Wayward Aims For Scares with CARRIE THE MUSICAL

While television and the cinema have always been welcoming media for screams and frights, the stage is not generally known as an accommodating venue for the horror genre. Local community troupe Wayward Actors Company will try out some time-tested material with the musical adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel in "CARRIE The Musical," opening June 6.

King's macabre inversion of the Cinderella story first found life on the stage in the late 1980s, but a combination of an exorbitant budget and scathing reviews quickly doomed it to a reputation as one of the most expensive flops in Broadway history. But the original composers and writer revisited the show in the latter half of the last decade, completely altering certain selections and fixing many of the problems with the original production.

Craig Nolan Highley, director of Wayward's production, said that when he brought the idea of the show to the company, the other members initially thought he was kidding. But a listen to the score made them realize that it could be a great show.

"I actually always thought the idea had merit," he said. "It seemed to me it had all the drama and angst you could expect from a musical adaptation. The music is phenomenal, and the anti-bullying message is sadly more relevant now than it was back in the '70s."

One of the benefits of staging the supernatural horror musical is how much thought the creators put into practical stage effects, Highley said.

"The show is designed for a black box theater like the Mex, and most of the effects work is being done in the style of traditional magic show-type stuff - mainly by literally pulling strings!" Highley said.

One thing he had to get creative with, though, is the climactic blood drop that sets in motion the tragic finale. The MeX is famously adamant about keeping liquid off the stage floor, so Highley and crew will use a combination of special effects to create a more stylized climaxed.

"Hopefully the audience will still be suitably wowed," he said.

"CARRIE The Musical" plays June 6-15 in the Martin Experimental Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. For tickets and more information, call 800.775.7777 or go to www.kentuckycenter.org/Events/Carrie-The-Musical/11942.

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Todd Zeigler Todd Zeigler is Artistic Director of The Alley Theater in Louisville, Kentucky, his home base for performing, writing, and directing. He is the "Stage Reading" local theatre columnist for The Voice-Tribune and voice-tribune.com.


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