They're All Gonna Laugh at You! : CARRIE (the play)

Erik Jackson's comedic, theatrical  adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie combines gothic with goofy, creepy with campy, and  horror with hilarity . Featuring elements of both King's novel, and Brian DePalma's iconic film version, as well as several original ideas (Carrie's mother sells Tupperware to make ends meet), this low budget production defies the odds and delivers the goods (as well as the laughs).

Horror fans know the story well; Carrie White is a social outcast who discovers that she has telekinetic powers soon after experiencing her first period.  When a cruel practical joke is played on her at the senior prom, Carrie releases years worth of pent-up frustration by bringing the house down on her tormentors.

For this retelling, the titular character is played by a man, and what a man! Erik Ransom is a revelation as Carrie White.  Instead of going all over the top, Ransom creates a gawky, awkward, big-boned gal who wants nothing more than to fit in (as well as listen to Air Supply).  Oddly enough, early in the show, Ransom bears a more-than-passing-resemblance to Amy Irving (who played Sue Snell in the film). 

The rest of the cast is equally fantastic.  Of particular note is Bradley Wrenn who plays All American Boy, Tommy Ross.  Wrenn is a lean, leggy lad who seems less of a star athlete and more of a double jointed match stick - and yet, he makes it work.  His goofy, self absorbed Tommy still means well, and it does not matter if he's outfitted in a pair of skin tight running shorts with knee high socks, or a baby blue tuxedo jacket; he's charming - albeit in a ditsy manner.
Leah Walton almost steals the show as Margret White.  Seemingly channeling both Piper Laurie's version of Mrs.White as well as Andrea Martin, Walton gets the biggest laughs of the show when she starts one of her holy roller diatribes. Her death scene is ALMOST better than Piper Laurie's in the film!

Finally, Bethany Ditnes plays the ultimate Mean Girl, Chris Hargensen, and she runs with the role.  Ditnes squeaky voiced bitch is a black-hearted co-ed in form fitting rainbow sweaters who manages to manipulate her horny boyfriend, Billy Nolan (played by Justin Jain) into doing her dirty work.
With it's use of dozens of top forty songs from the halcyon days of Jimmy Carter, rapid fire jokes, jabs at John Travolta, pig puppets, cheesy special effects, and an oddly touching 11th hour message of tolerance and acceptance; Carrie is a must-see for fans of the novel and the movie. 

If you live in the Philly area and are looking for a fun way to spend a few hours, the show is playing until November 7th.  Get your tickets now and prepare for a fun night at the senior prom!


Te* (Slasher Film Sanctuary) said...

Paxie Boy this sounds pretty good, wish I could've been there to see it. Great review as always. ;)

justrose said...

The skintight shorts were a triumph. Great review!!!

Jack Veasey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Veasey said...

Philly, eh? I'll have to check it out. I'm a fan of the musical version. The staging was ludicrous, but the score had some great moments, and Betty Buckley as Mama -- what's not to love?

Pax Romano said...

Jack, this version was a hoot played for laughs. Pay attention very early on and you'll hear a shout out to Ms. Buckley.

Te, thanks brother!

Rosie, absolutely triumphant.

Toon said...

This sounds stunningly perfect!

Pax Romano said...

Toon, that it is!

Erik Ransom said...

Glad you like it! Thanks for the great review.

Pax Romano said...

Erick, you are welcome - Bravo!