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Carrie (Brat Productions)

October 11th, 2010 by aunt john · 2 Comments

Historically, theater and your dear old Aunt John have had a rocky relationship. Admittedly, I have the attention span of a gnat doing the backstroke in bongwater and the prospect of sitting in a captive position without a regulated commercial break, whereby I can catch a smoke, escalates my innate fidgetiness. I am the last person you want to watch a DVD with if you require absolute silence (UNK SEZ: for serious!) or, moreover, drag to a play. I have walked out on more theatrical productions at intermission than I can recall — ’cause that’s I how roll — and yeah, I’m looking at you TOMMY.

That said, I had some personal reservations when I read that local theater company BRAT was mounting a production of CARRIE, a comedy by ERIK JACKSON, based on the novel by STEPHEN KING. And by personal reservations, I mean could I sit still long enough without embarrassing or otherwise raising the ire of Unkle Lancifer?

Well dear readers, after last night’s outing, I am happy to say that I sat completely enraptured, when I wasn’t comprising my bladder control from laughing, and I did not once give your Unk pause to pretend to not know me. More importantly though, stop whatever it is that you are doing, you have got to go see this stage version of CARRIE! I don’t care where you live… now is the time to visit Philadelphia, so get your ass on the BoltBus or JetBlue, and see this chestnut before the final curtain drops on November 7th.

Seriously, I could care less about the Tonys, but if I had the power to be kingmaker and give out such awards, this whole cast gets gold stars. LEAH WALTON steals every last scene in her PIPER LAURIE as channeled by ANDREA MARTIN interpretation of Carrie’s kooky mom Margaret White. She does meet her match head on at a poorly attended Tupperware Party (the rapid-fire ‘70s references abounding in this play are beyond awesome) when COLLEEN CORCORAN shows up as Carrie’s concerned gym teacher, Miss Gardner. CORCORAN is so on her A-Game as she puts Carrie’s bullies (Chris Hargensen, et al.) through what could best be described as a jazzercise showdown.

The play cleverly mashes up the classic novel with the ingenious film and yet has enough of its own gumption to throw in a couple of elements all its own. The music is amazing and the timing on the “Carrie” cue in a certain KANSAS song is beyond impressive. The occasionally wonky special effects don’t stand a chance in hell… they are stomped on by the fearless and improvisation-ready cast. Expect more hilarity than horror. If you haven’t figured out what makes this archetypal tale a permanent go-to, the message is spelled out for you before the curtain closes. Individuality is a gift not a curse. Go BRAT and go CARRIE… it is a SNELL of a good time!

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Tags: Kinder-Theater · Plug It Up! · Trauma-Mommas




2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Oct 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    As much as it pains me, I have to agree with the Aunt John here. This play was damn hilarious. 

    There was a review for it in one of our local papers (you know, those things you use to wrap up your dishes when you move that owe their entire existence to escort and sex chat line ads.) and they were trying to say that because of the recent gay teen suicides that this play was suddenly in bad taste. I thought just the opposite. I was thinking it was perfect timing. The ending warns that there are outcasts everywhere and that at some point when you push people too far they will push back. The reviewer also complained that there were lines lifted directly from the film (she said she did her homework by watching the movie) but I think that is a great selling point for actual fans of Carrie. Anyway she was obviously not a fan of horror in general so she missed the entire point. 
    Also this play has a pig puppet and that alone makes it worthwhile.

  • 2 cmcmcmcmNo Gravatar // Oct 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    i’ve had my share of intermission walk-outs myself – (OMG RENT!!!). in general theater (esp musical) makes me want to claw my ear drums out, but i’m impressed with your review here.  all i’ve really seen have been stills of the production and i was sooo “WTF?!?  why would ANYONE want to see this?” but now i’m intrigued.  i won’t be in philly anytime in the next decade – but maybe it will come to portland.

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