Perhaps the most misunderstood musical theater piece of the 20th century Carrie: The Musical started previews on April 28, 1988, at the Virginia Theatre on Broadway.
Ken Mandelbaum is quoted by Wollman, MacDermot, and Trask:
“Ken Mandelbaum writes of an audience divided during early previews, the curtain calls of which were greeted with a raucous mix of cheers and boos. However, in an instant, when Linzi Hateley and Betty Buckley rose to take their bows, the entire theatre turned to a standing ovation.”
The show was sold out weeks in advance and did indeed receive standing ovations at some previews, as well as on opening night but that couldn’t save it.
Carrie: The Musical officially opened on May 12, 1988. Hampered by scathing reviews by professional critics, the financial backers pulled their money out of the show, and it closed on May 15 after only 16 previews and 5 performances, guaranteeing its place in theatre history as one of the most expensive disasters of all time.
It wasn’t that Carrie:The Musical was a bad show. It was just badly directed, over produced and horribly choreographed (Thank you Debbie Allen.)
But Carrie: The Musical wasn’t dead and she would be resurrected and produced Off-Broadway as a limited run show at the Lucille Lortel Theatre by MCC Theater. Marin Mazzie starred as Margaret White and Molly Ranson as Carrie. Previews on January 31, 2012, and officially opened on March 1, 2012, and closed a month later to good solid reviews. The MCC directors said: “MCC, the authors, and the director achieved what we all set out to do – to rescue Carrie from oblivion and to give her new life.
Below is “lost footage” of the original Carrie, Linzi Hateley singing the title song from the 1988 Broadway production from an old press video reel with the audio and video cleaned up.
Barbara Cook, whose heartfelt soprano led her to a remarkably long-lived career, first as one of Broadway’s most memorable musical theatre ingénues and then as a leading light in the international cabaret scene, died August 8, 2017, of respiratory failure at the age of 89.
The Atlanta-born soprano started her Broadway career in 1951, but it was her 1956 role in Leonard Bernstein’s short-lived Candide, with its popular cast recording, that ensured her immortality. In 2002, Cook told NPR that Bernstein’s vocal demands were daunting.
Cook appeared in The Gay Life, at the Shubert Theatre in New York in 1962. Cook’s buttery soprano voice helped define show after show on Broadway.
“I was counting the high notes in the score, and there were four E flats over high C, there were six D flats, there were 16 B flats and 21 high Cs. … That’s just unbelievable,” she said. “It’s unheard of. But that’s what was in the score for me to sing and I did it eight times a week.”
Cook’s next Broadway outing proved to be one of her greatest triumphs. In The Music Man, she played the spinsterish Marian, a librarian who falls for con artist Harold Hill, played by Robert Preston. Meredith Willson wrote the book, music and lyrics for the show, which he later realized was a thinly veiled autobiography.
In the 1962 Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical She Loves Me. Cooked played what would be one of her most memorable roles, that of Amelia Balash. Of her performance Norman Nadel of the World-Telegram & Sun wrote: “Her clear soprano is not only one of the finest vocal instruments in the contemporary musical theatre, but it conveys all the vitality, brightness and strength of her feminine young personality, which is plenty.” The song “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the latter became one of Cook’s signature songs.
“One day, he came to me,” Cook recalled. “He said, ‘Oh … I know who you are. I know who this character is.’ He says, ‘I wrote this and I didn’t know it was my mother. This is my mother.’ “
Cook won a Tony Award for that role. But actresses can’t play ingénues forever and as the ’60s drew to a close, roles became scarce. Cook succumbed to what she referred to as her “middle-escence,” battling alcoholism, depression and obesity. She disappeared from the Broadway stage for five years. Then, in 1975, she reinvented herself as a highly regarded concert and cabaret artist.
In October 1991 they appeared as featured artists at the Carnegie Hall Gala Music and Remembrance: A Celebration of Great Musical Partnerships which raised money for the advancement of the performing arts and for AIDS research
In 1988 she originated the role of Margaret White in the ill-fated musical version of Stephen King’s Carrie, which premiered in England and was presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1994, she provided both her acting and singing skills to the animated film version of Thumbelina which featured music by Barry Manilow. That same year she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
In October 1991 she appeared as featured artists at the Carnegie Hall Gala Music and Remembrance: A Celebration of Great Musical Partnerships which raised money for the advancement of the performing arts and for AIDS research
New York Times critic Stephen Holden says that as the years went on, not only did her voice grow deeper, but so did her musical interpretations.
“High voices really don’t express much. They’re just beautiful and phenomenal,” Holden says. “And it’s low voices that you can really get into the dark side of things, or whatever you want to call it. And she goes there and puts all of her life into what she sings.”
Over the decades, Cook also developed her own philosophy and approach to performance. She said, “I think it’s absolutely, totally important for a person, first of all, to hopefully know who they are as a performer and to choose songs that illuminate that person; and then to be present — to really, really be present.”
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Pre-Order – Carrie: The Musical (Premiere Cast Recording CD) $15. 53 – CD will be released nationally on September 25, 2012
Click the image above to purchase
The long-awaited, first ever Carrie: The Musical cast recording is finally here after 24 years.
Thanks to a recent successful re-imagining off-Broadway run earlier this “Carrie – the Musical” has been brought back from the theatrical dead.
A MUST HAVE ITEM for any Musical Theatre Queen and perfect for Halloween! (LOL!)
The cast features Tony Award® nominee Marin Mazzie (Next to Normal, Kiss Me Kate) as Carrie’s evangelical mother, Margaret White, and the stunning Molly Ranson (Jerusalem, August: Osage County) as the lonely, vengeful, yet fragile girl at the center of it all.
Promo footage from the Off-Broadway production.
*Pre-order Price Guarantee! Order now and if the Amazon.com price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price
Finally after 24 years, Broadway’s biggest flop, thanks to the horrible directin of Terry Hands and its 1980’s over the top “FAME” like choreography by Debbie Allen, “Carrie – the Musical” is FINALLY getting a cast recording thanks to a recent successful re-imagining off-Broadway run earlier this year that brought the show back from the theatrical dead.
The musical based on the Stephen King bestseller and movie starring Sissy Spacek. The original Broadway run started previews on April 28, 1988. After the final song, boos were heard mixed in with applause. However, when Linzi Hateley and Betty Buckley who played (Carrie and bible thumping mother Margaret White) rose to take their bows, the entire theatre turned to a standing ovation.
Despite the fact that the theatre was sold out every night,[the financial backers pulled their money out of the show, and it closed on May 15, 1988 after only 16 previews and 5 performances, guaranteeing its place in theatre history as one of the most expensive disasters of all time.
Below is one of the shows more outstanding numbers titled “And Eve Was Weak,” sung by Molly Ranson (as Carrie) and Marin Mazzie (as Margaret) from the 2012 Off-Broadway production.
Margaret White: [referring to Carrie’s prom gown] Red. I might have known it would be red.
Carrie White: It’s pink, Mama. [presenting her corsage] Look what Tommy gave me, Mama. Aren’t they beautiful?
Margaret White: I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.
Carrie White: Breasts, Mama. They’re called breasts, and every woman has them.