ABOUT HALF THE SONGS HAVE CHANGED, SAYS NEW DIRECTOR
The other day, the New York Times' Patrick Healy posted an article that served to officially announce that the revamped stage version of Carrie has been acquired by the MCC Theater, which plans to open the show Off Broadway as "a major production at the Lucille Lortel Theater during the 2011-12 season." Healy interviewed the show's director, Stafford Arima, who said he was actually in attendance for the orginal preview of Carrie on Broadway on April 30, 1988. "I had never seen a crowd go wild like the ‘Carrie’ crowd did, the infectious and almost hypnotic quality to some of the songs, the absolute roar from the audience at the end as Carrie dies,” Arima told Healy. “Personally, too, as a theater geek who had been bad at gym, I related very much to the archetype of the misfit. How many of us can remember being made fun of in high school because we were too smart, too shy, too awkward?” Arima told Healy that about half of the songs in the new show will be different than the original show, which was a notorious flop. "Among the songs already jettisoned," states Healy, "is the notorious Act II opener, 'Out for Blood,' in which high school mean girls and boys work themselves into a state of murderous rapture as they seek pigs’ blood for a cruel prom-night prank against Carrie, a character best known from Sissy Spacek’s portrayal in the 1976 film adaptation."
Lawrence D. Cohen, who adapted Stephen King's novel for both the film and stage versions of Carrie, was quoted in an official MCC announcement yesterday. "From our perspective," explained Cohen, "we had no interest in seeing a new production of the exact same show that closed on Broadway." Composer Michael Gore added, "We've revisited the material extensively and embarked on what we're terming a ‘re-imagining' of the musical." The announcement also quotes Arima regarding how the story takes on increased resonance today. "As our society finally begins to take a serious look at the intense stressors placed upon teenagers and the often tragic consequences of bullying and social ostracism within our schools," stated Arima, "the message of Carrie has only become more timely and resonant."