Wednesday, April 4, 2012

theatre review CARRIE, Off Broadway, April 3

We journeyed back to see Carrie, the Musical again last night and enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first.  Here is my review of our initial trip to see this show. 

As could be expected the show has gotten even tighter then it was when we saw it back in previews, the cast has gelled more as well as the performances are even more honed now then before.  Molly Ranson and Marin Mazzie are still hitting it out of the park in their portrayal of Carrie and her crazy, religious mother Margaret.  And I did appreciate the supporting cast more this time.  Not sure if initially I was so focused on what had been changed from the original 1988 Broadway flop version of this show that I didn't focus much on the supporting cast or if they've had some time to grow into the roles now.  (My blog post about the history of the show can be found here.)

The four main supporting "student" parts are basically portrayals of good and evil with Christy Altomare and Derek Klena being the "good" couple and Jeanna de Waal and Ben Thompson the "bad" ones.  All four are delivering on what is expected of them, even if they are somewhat stereotypical parts.  We did have two understudies last night, Anne Tolpegin was on for the gym teacher Mrs. Gardner and I actually liked her take on that role better than Carmen Cusack's and Jake Boyd was on for one of the high school boys.

We were seated further back then back in February when we were in the first row and it allowed the opportunity to get a better idea as to the overall staging and set design as well as the direction from Stafford Arima.  One scene in particular, Margaret's solo "When There's No One," is highly effective from further back as during the song, the entire theatre slowly fades to black with only a single spotlight on Mazzie's face as she is surrounded by dozens of candle's scattered around the entire stage.  It is chilling, eerie and perfectly in sync with the lyrics of the song.

Not much more for me to say than what I said in my original review.  Just too bad this production won't have an extended life.  I'm still praying they make a cast recording, but since the show closes on Sunday it looks like the chance of that happening are getting slimmer by the day.

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