20 November 2009

CARRIE Casting

Ever since my friend Andrew gave me a bootleg recording of CARRIE I've been obsessed.  (Remember that time I spent a morning watching different versions of "I'm Not Alone"?).  So when those wacky producers Jeffrey Seller and Kevin McCollum decided they were looking to dust it off and give it another chance, I was optimistic.  True, I thought an Encores!, or perhaps a BC/EFA Benefit concert version would be most appropriate, but these guys really think they can make it work.  So, why not let them try.  The elements are there--a compelling "world of the play", and a score that is, for the most part, actually fantastic.  The original production was an out of control mess, with director Terry Hands having little to no control/vision over what "the world of the play" should be.  Stafford Arima is doing honors here.  Many loved his stripped down, no-set RAGTIME at Papermill and the West End, but does he have to skills to find a balance in tone for CARRIE? 

What DOES excite me is the cast announced today.  Sutton Foster as the gym teacher?  Might be a waste of Sutton, but I'll take her in anything.  Marin Mazzie as the mother?  Something about it doesn't add up, but it titillates me as well and could be quite fabulous.  What has be most excited is Molly Ranson in the title role.  She was in BURNT PART BOYS at NYS&F this summer and she. is. incredibly. talented.  That she was cast gives me confidence that someone involved in this reading knows what they are doing.  I really hope that person is Stafford Arima.

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