The New York Times attempts to explain the recent closing of CARRIE by interviewing producers not connected to the show. That's sort of like asking executives at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile what the devil's wrong with AT&T. Here's a sampling of the imaginative conjecture that now qualifies for Arts-related news on the pages of the Times.
Several theater producers contacted recently said that “Carrie,” no matter how well acted and sung, presented far more than the usual share of difficulties, the most insurmountable being that nearly every character is dead at the end.
Like many off-the-cuff notions spouted by pundits on any MSNBC or Fox News program, the above theory has about as much credibility. If it were true that a corpse-strewn stage is a recipe for failure in the theatre Sweeney Todd would be a mere footnote, rather than a benchmark of musical theatre history and a guy named Euripides (not to mention Shakespeare) would hardly be remembered.
The sad truth is, the media's obsession for "back story" in covering any development in theatre, dance or film resulted in endless stories about one of the most embarrassing flops in Broadway history. What present-day production could withstand that?
I saw CARRIE. Twice. It's that good. And, unlike most similarly sized shows these days, it doesn't take the easy road called Camp. Instead CARRIE is heartfelt, touching and deeply moving -- start to finish, in large part due to its hauntingly beautiful score.
My prediction? If the producers can squeeze their circle to properly fund a cast recording, that will be the key to this show's legs. The score speaks for itself.
Doubt me? Just give a listen to this clip from the original Broadway production which features Betty Buckley singing the hell out of this part. (pun intended)