Tuesday, October 22, 2013
CARRIE: THE MUSICAL
Although the "Carrie" remake did pretty well this past weekend, coming in third and grossing $16, 101, 552, I'd say it's opening weekend was a success. However, I wasn't at a showing of the film, because I was one state over, in North East, Maryland at The Milburn Stone Theater attending the musical adaptation of the tragic story. I'll be seeing the new movie later this week, but with a musical of this criteria, I had to prioritize.
Not much to my surprise, there's some serious talent involved in this stage performance! And with such a broad cast, it was a genuine relief to see it go over so well. AJ Melendez, a former American Idol Juniors finalist plays Tommy Ross, Carrie's prom date. Melendez not only is convincing in his performance, but has a great voice for the role.
Then you have Christy Wyatt, who plays Carrie's only friend, Sue Snell. Christy not only plays the biggest role in the act, but also was narrator of the entire show. With a solid stage presence, and elegant vocals, she carries the show quite well. Add to that, Wyatt is also a resident of Delaware, like me, and many others of the cast. Having graduated high school as a vocal and musical theater major, she's been in numerous stage performances and is currently a freshman studying the Elementary Education major at the University of Delaware.
When I asked Christy what preparations she had to make in order to get into the role of Sue, she said, "I think I'm a lot like Sue in real life. I'm very studious and I often keep to myself. Like any teenager, I can relate to making bad decisions and wanting to make things right after the fact, so it was easy to draw from that for my character."
And of course, you have the main focus of the musical, Carrie, played by Megan Valle. The high school senior has a dance background of 14 years, and plans to go to college for a BFA in musical theater. And if her singing and acting in this musical have anything to say, she's going far, I hope. She plays the character of Carrie with almost perfection. She's got the look, and really is suitable for the role. She's utterly convincing in her execution of the character!
Valle told me, "I tried to pull from certain events or feelings that related to Carrie. Everyone in their life has been bullied or called certain names, and I took that emotion that I felt during that certain incident, and exemplified it during the show."
All around, being entirely truthful, the entire cast is phenomenal, and it's easy to tell they work for it. Throughout the entire show, there wasn't one hiccup in a single performer! This really stood out to me, because I usually always encounter some sort of screw up amongst the cast whenever I attend things like this. So, it was a serious relief and surprise to see this local show done with such precision. Everyone on stage should give themselves a pat on the back. It's no surprise that every performer, individually and collectively, received a massive standing ovation when it all ended!
The music is great, and really gets the audience going, and keeps them interested and invested. Although some of the lyrics can be a bit dark, this musical never loses it's quirkiness due to the high-energy acting and vocals of every single person on the stage.
If I were to use criticism, all that I can really muster to mention is that although the music is big, the effects aren't. And I would have liked to see a more fitting stage setup. But, the thing is, the tunes and showmanship out weigh any negatives that you can find or point out. It's a whole hell of a lot of fun, and everyone in the crowd enjoyed themselves, just like I did. It's worth seeing over the music alone, but you get so much more. I'm really glad that I got to see a film that I hold dear, turned into a show that is done with complete professionalism.
But don't take my word for it, take Christy Wyatt's. "I don't think there's a kid out there who wouldn't find some part of this show that they like. It is really unlike anything out there..."
If you didn't get to see it last weekend, it's not to late! This coming weekend there will be another show from Friday to Sunday. If you're in the area, check it out. Trust me, you've got nothing better to do. Swing over and show some support. And enjoy yourself.
For tickets and other information, click here.