Supply: The CW
On April 18, Riverdale lastly unveiled its long-teased musical episode, which was replete with plenty of musical numbers, tons of drama, and fairly the cataclysmic conclusion. The episode will certainly go down in Riverdale historical past, and now it is time to type by way of the wreckage and get a deal with on our feelings. However as we press on and look towards the fast-approaching season finale, one sensible query stays: what the hell is Carrie: The Musical?
For those who walked away from this episode questioning if it was actual or only a loopy factor Riverdale made up, you are not alone. However I am right here to let you know that Carrie: The Musical will not be solely actual, it is also some of the notorious productions in Broadway historical past. That is as a result of no single present has flopped so spectacularly – not earlier than or because the present’s ill-fated 1988 debut. In honor of the legendary musical, we thought we might provide a quick historical past of the way it all went down.
The Preliminary Story
For those who’re in some way not conscious, the story of Carrie was initially written in guide kind by legendary horror writer Stephen King. It was revealed in 1974 after which shortly tailored into a movie that got here out in 1976. Each the guide and movie did so properly, the powers that be determined the subsequent logical transfer could be a musical. Lawrence D. Cohen, who tailored the unique novel to the display screen, teamed up with composer Michael Gore and lyricist Dean Pitchford to make the musical manufacturing a actuality.
Supply: The Everett Collection
The Disastrous Run on Broadway
Even supposing they started engaged on and workshopping the musical all by way of the early ’80s, it did not get sufficient funding to come back to life till 1988. The present had a quick preview interval (about 16 performances) in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. What’s attention-grabbing is that the present wasn’t initially panned by critics. In an interview with Playbill, the creators notice that the reception was mixed. “You’d hear roaring ovations and, simply as loud, booing,” Cohen stated. Even so, it is not onerous to seek out a positive review from this explicit leg of the journey. As soon as the present moved to New York, although, it was a special story.
For those who ask the creators, New York critics noticed one thing totally different. “What occurred after we got here to New York was that the identical division of the critics was palpable within the audiences within the weeks of previews and the week that we ran,” Cohen stated. The present opened on Broadway on Could 12, 1988 . . . and closed on Could 15, 1988. It did not precisely obtain rave opinions; a superb instance is The New York Occasions, which supplied quite a few punches to the gut in a lower than flattering overview. The present solely lasted a whopping 5 performances, and it reportedly misplaced a record-breaking $7 million.
Supply: The CW
It is price noting that only a few traces of the unique Carrie musical exist. There aren’t any official pictures or forged recording, only a few bootleg movies. There are traces of the supply materials right here and there on the web, however they’re solely bits and items. The present was lastly revived in an off-Broadway production in 2012, however in keeping with The New York Occasions, it developed one thing of a cult following within the years because it closed. After the flop, the creators had been approached with tons of of pitches. Scores of theaters needed to aim a manufacturing of Carrie, however the unique producers had been too heartbroken to say sure.
Lastly, in 2012, they agreed to carry Carrie again to life. The aforementioned off-Broadway manufacturing opened at New York’s Lucille Lortel Theatre in 2012 and did reasonably higher, lasting 80 performances earlier than it closed (about 4 occasions as many as the unique). The musical had been trimmed and cleaned up a bit; it was fitted with new songs and a truncated story. This manufacturing yielded the only official recording of the music, which is even accessible on Spotify. Nonetheless, it was not at all a runaway success. Eighty performances is not quite a bit in comparison with the 12,000-plus performances of Phantom of the Opera or the Chicago revival’s eight,000.
And now we have now Riverdale‘s musical episode, which is maybe essentially the most high-profile homage to the musical we have ever seen. And actually, what higher place to showcase this bleak and bloody story? Riverdale is an outsider all its personal; it is a darkish teen present that is stuffed to the brim with its personal bloody brutalities. And it is not onerous to seek out Riverdale characters who’re mirrored, a technique or one other, within the story of Carrie. As for what’s going to occur now that the ill-fated musical has been thrust into the highlight but once more? That is still to be seen.