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Carrie

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Carrie#1
Posted: 5/8/20 at 10:42pm

Hey Everyone! I thought I should update you guys on a new "Carrie the Musical" forum that is up and running! Lots of clips, videos, full show scores, scripts, basically everything you could want. I noticed a lot of people haven't had the chance to really get to know "Carrie" as a show (do to it's..... interesting...direction..) but the show really does have it's moments. If you want to give it a chance, please come down to www.reddit.com/r/carriethemusical ! We'd love to have you :) 

Carrie Forum

ARTc3
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Carrie#2
Posted: 5/9/20 at 7:25pm

Thank you so much for creating this. I saw Carrie on Broadway and although I understand why it didn't work, there were things about that performance that have haunted me. I have a recording taken from the sound booth, but little more, than today…

Wow!

Thank you

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
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Carrie#3
Posted: 5/9/20 at 7:30pm

It may sound trivial, but I always dug the show logo for the Broadway production.

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Carrie#4
Posted: 5/9/20 at 7:33pm

That is the closing night soundboard recording! It is a masterpiece in itself. We have more awaiting you on the site :)

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Carrie#5
Posted: 5/9/20 at 7:34pm

Not trivial at all! It was one of the things the production did right!

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Carrie#6
Posted: 5/9/20 at 10:23pm

ARTc3 said: "Thank you so much for creating this. I saw Carrie on Broadway and although I understand why it didn't work, there were things about that performance that have haunted me. I have a recording taken from the sound booth, but little more, than today…

 

I love the Linzi Hateley quote “if as many people saw Carrie who claim to have seen it the show would still be running”

 

I love the artwork as well! I’ve always wanted to get my hands on a Playbill from the show. 

"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
Updated On: 5/9/20 at 10:23 PM
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Carrie#7
Posted: 5/9/20 at 10:42pm

I have a playbill, poster, and tie-in book from the shows 88 broadway run! They are my prized possessions! Also that Linzi quote rings true!

ARTc3
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Carrie#8
Posted: 5/9/20 at 11:09pm

Plannietink08: Not sure why you quoted me before your post. Are you suggesting that I am making up having seen the show?

I have a playbill from the show. Are you looking to just view it? If so, I can photograph key pages and share it with you. If you want your own physical copy, I'm not willing to part with mine.

Private message me, and I'll send you a photo of any page.

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
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Carrie#9
Posted: 5/10/20 at 12:14am

Plannietink08 said: "ARTc3 said: "Thank you so much for creating this. I saw Carrie on Broadway and although I understand why it didn't work, there were things about that performance that have haunted me. I have a recording taken from the sound booth, but little more, than today…



I love the Linzi Hateley quote “if as many people saw Carrie who claim to have seen it the show would still be running”
"

Same thing used to be said about Anyone Can Whistle. I know someone who swears he saw it twice (in previews and after it opened). I don't know if I believe him.

ARTc3
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Carrie#10
Posted: 5/10/20 at 1:51am

I'm sort of torn by this cynicism… One one side, I get that forums are a space where everything needs to be questioned. It would be very easy to be deceptive. On the other side, while on this board, I have on more than one occasion been accused of being a shill (I'm not), or dishonest (I have never been here).

There have been several threads written about this community, written by this community. I have found many of the ones I've read amusing. I wish we were kinder, more welcoming.

Me too. I know I have typed things here that perhaps stung, or even hurt someone's feelings. I wish I hadn't.

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Joshua Rosenthal
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Carrie#11
Posted: 5/10/20 at 3:19am

ARTc3 said: "Thank you so much for creating this. I saw Carrie on Broadway and although I understand why it didn't work, there were things about that performance that have haunted me. I have a recording taken from the sound booth, but little more, than today…

Wow!

Thank you
"

So cool and jealous that you got to see it! Can you tell me about the experience? Also what the tie show set/curtain was like if you remember haha

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Carrie#12
Posted: 5/10/20 at 2:52pm

I rather kick myself for passing on a chance to see the premiere in Stratford (but the word of mouth truly was horrid) but I did get to see the Los Angeles production a couple of years ago which was absolutely spectacular. 

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
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Carrie#13
Posted: 5/10/20 at 2:54pm

I remember a lot, but as its many years ago, some details might be a bit sketchy…

When you first entered the theater, I remember it being painted all black and the audience being lit in red light. As a regular theater goer, this was quite striking. It set the mood perfectly. I don't remember if there was a unique stage curtain, but there might have been.

Instead of the regular process of dimming the house lights, the show opens with a blackout perfectly timed to a loud chord from the opening note of the overture. It was spooky and perfect. I was immediately captivated and ready to be enthralled. (Word was that Carrie was a disaster, but I had already seen many shows that I enjoyed that arrived with negative press, so I remember being exciting and ready to enjoy this despite what I had heard).

If you follow the link provided on the Carrie website, you can see the opening number. My initial thoughts were wow! and 'wtf':

Wow: The opening set was a stage completely contained by white walls and ceiling. Knowing the movie well, I was immediately excited because I thought this is a perfect set up for the blood that I knew would be coming later. (I was mistaken.)

'WTF': the girls on stage, high school gym students were costumed in the most ridiculous outfits. The were dressed more appropriately as Las Vegas showgirls (sans feathers), than high school students taking gym. The tone was completely wrong. The number was great, energetic, well sung and danced, but I couldn't get over how ridiculously they were costumed. In fact, most of the costumes of the young students were over sexed and completely inappropriate for the piece. In my opinion, this was one of the main reason why the show failed. The tone was sexualized, not as young girls experiencing puberty, but as a highly sexualized Broadway / Las Vegas spectacle trying to appeal to a male audience expecting 'tits and ass'.

A smoked translucent screen came up from the floor which the girls undressed behind representing the locker room showers. The set was pretty cool and the transitions great.

Linzi Hateley was wonderful. Her voice strong and her stage presence perfect. (In fact, it was Ms. Hateley's performance that drove me to want to find any existing material for the years I looked.) Betty Buckley was also brilliant. She was introduce on a small wagon of their house which traveled downstage while the back wall of the house rotated vertically (similar to a freestanding chalk board). Again, the set was impressive for its time.

I knew Charlotte d'Ambroise's work and I grew up seeing her father dance at the ballet, so I was excited to see her in a lead role. As expected, her dancing was great, her voice okay. Gene Anthony Ray did not impress me.

Most of the music was upbeat and contemporary. This was a time when Broadway was still trying to figure out how to do 'rock' and 'pop', so I was pleasantly surprised by my memory of the score. Years later, when I came across the Sound Engineer's recording, I was reminded how much I enjoyed the music.

Of course, I was waiting for the big gym scene, knowing that the set seemed perfect for taking on all the blood that I was sure would ensue. What a disappointment!

Instead of the blood being dropped from the flies (the stage ceiling was also a white wall which would hinge down to become a really cool stairway) the blood was carried on and then poured over Carrie's head. The tension created in the film about the blood being rigged over the prom stage wasn't a part of the musical.

I was hoping for gallons and gallons – a pool load – of blood as an effect to cover the limitations of stagecraft, but got a rather lame throwing of a single  bucket of blood. The murders that followed were also lame. (I think to years later and American Psycho and wish that something similar had occurred on the Carrie stage. It did not.)

The 'big' sequence ends with Carrie standing on a pedestal perfectly aligned with a cutout in the stage ceiling. The ceiling comes down revealing a huge stairway leading from downstage to upstage. At the top of the steps was Betty Buckley who sings as she descends the stairs. Carrie stabs her.

I don't remember if there was anything like the grave scene at the end of the movie. I believe there wasn't, but I could be mistaken.

There were aspects of Carrie that were really good. I actually believe if the costumes weren't so ridiculous and hadn't set the absolutely wrong tone, the show would have been much better. Not sure if it would have 'worked', there was far too many other issues, but it wouldn't have felt so 'wrong'. They also desperately needed a much better final gym sequence. The white box the show took place within was a perfect set up and had they taken advantage of that single element, the finale would have worked so much better.

Carrie also suffered from poor word of mouth. Nobody could understand how they were going to put it on stage and when the initial word was that it was a huge disaster, the nail was in the coffin.


* * *

I have a few more memories, so reach out if you want to read more, but I figure I've typed enough.

 

 

 

 

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Updated On: 5/10/20 at 02:54 PM
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Carrie#14
Posted: 5/10/20 at 6:35pm

Thanks for that group! Seems like a great resource 

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” ? Terrence Mann
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Carrie#15
Posted: 5/10/20 at 6:53pm

Thanks so much, ARTc3 for that post! I wasn't the one who asked for the details, but I greatly appreciate them.

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Carrie#16
Posted: 5/10/20 at 10:13pm

Woah! So amazing to hear first hand details! If you ever want to tell anymore stories, please do!

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Carrie#17
Posted: 5/10/20 at 11:36pm

I saw CARRIE the day before it was to open on Broadway. I looked at my friend and we said to each other "This is the best thing I have ever seen." As we were leaving the theater we were passing the choreographer Debbie Allen and I gave her a high 5 to let her know how much I loved her work. And she was in tears and turned to me and said "Tell that to the producers. They hate it." The next thing I knew the show had closed.

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Carrie#18
Posted: 5/11/20 at 1:04am

That's so sad Carrie, but amazing that you got to meet Debbie though!

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Carrie#19
Posted: 5/11/20 at 1:25am

Thank you ARTc3 - that was a really enjoyable read.  I have always been intrigued and at times obsessed with the legend of the original Carrie on Broadway.  As much as I have read about it over the years it is great to have a first hand account.  I think you absolutely correct about the costumes and tone and over sexualisation of the story.  I think De Palma's film does something similar in this respect also but what they attempted on the stage unsuccessfully was a fail.... albeit an unintentionally camp one.

'Downtown Elaiggghhhy?'
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Carrie#20
Posted: 5/11/20 at 4:25am
I have nothing much to add to this conversation except (and people may know this):

* at the 2011 Carrie revival ‘preview’ where they showed some new songs and had a Q&A with the writing team, they thew the director under the bus but praised Betty Buckley’s performance.

* in a recentish interview with Buckley circa 2013/2014, Buckley said she was proud of the work she did with Linzi in their scenes but also threw the director under the bus


Listening to that soundboard I still get chills hearing Buckley’s crazy crazy vocals in ‘eve was weak’.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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Carrie#21
Posted: 5/11/20 at 10:57am

Linzi Hateley and Sally Ann Triplett did a Q&A after the London revival of the show in 2015 which I have a very muffled recording of, they had some great stories, I will do my best to transcribe it at some point.

Updated On: 5/11/20 at 10:57 AM
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Carrie#22
Posted: 5/11/20 at 2:18pm

To those who so kindly wrote that they enjoyed my post, thank you. It is appreciated.

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Carrie#23
Posted: 5/11/20 at 4:14pm

If you do transcribe the Q&A, or would like to send the recording, I would love to put it on the website!

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Carrie#24
Posted: 5/11/20 at 5:44pm

Interesting! In the mini doc "Singing Carrie" Betty mentions the same thing!

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Carrie#25
Posted: 5/11/20 at 8:21pm

The choreography was so laughably bad. It was even worse than her work on the  Academy Awards and the TV show Fame. She was great performer and even director but her choreography was unforgettable ... but not in a good way.