Incredibly Good Halloween Horrors: CARRIE: THE MUSICAL at Kelsey Theatre

by Wren Workman

Nothing quite sets the Halloween spirit like watching a musical about blood and revenge. Kelsey Theatre’s CARRIE: THE MUSICAL is an incredibly good show, that does very well in keeping to the original plot as set out by Stephen King. The story is a recap of of the events leading to horrifying tragedy that happened to a small town by a sole survivor.

The story and stage opens up with our narrator Sue (Caitlin Sprang) recapping and reliving what happened. Sprang has a very strong voice and you can’t help but believe her when she says she is sorry for what happened. The titular Carrie (Jenna Scannelli) comes into play quickly. Scannelli pulls off being the mousey Carrie White very well, but still has the vocal chops to quickly remind everyone that it is her show. Sue’s boyfriend Tommy (Dan Johnson) is a modern take on the classic all-American boy next door. Johnson made Tommy truly likable and is a talented singer in his own right, however his hairstyle caused his face to be blocked from the audience multiple times throughout the show. Chris (Tiffany Dydak) and Billy (Alexander Robin Kass) are the people we all loved to hate in high school. Miss Gardner (Emily Miller Huddell) and Margaret (Amanda Dranchak) both come very close to stealing the show with their singing and in their very strong ability to never break character even while singing, and both fulfill different types of maternal figures for the young Carrie. Jim Petro does double duty as both Mister Stephens and Reverend Bliss, singing and moving with the confidence of a theater veteran. The ensemble and supporting characters were funny, and good at dancing (though they lacked a certain sharpness, with the exception was Freddy (Frankie Confalone) who was always full of energy).

The music was perfectly played and greatly aided in setting the mood and tone of most scenes. A secondary star to the the cast and music was the amazing set and props. The stage crew (Jaci D’Ulisse, Hannah Knight, Nicole Doyle, Johnny Ragazzo, Mackenzie Ross) did a wonderful job with the special effects that were just as much of a character as any of the actors. Though the lighting (M. Kitty Getlik) seemed to be a bit off at times, it rarely detracted from the scenes.

Overall the show is well worth your time if you’re a fan of modern musicals, the movie, the play, or just having a good time enjoying a show that certainly fits the season. (Whatever you do though, don’t make fun of Carrie…)

Book by Lawrence D. Cohen (based on the novel by Stephen King)
Music by Michael Gore 
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Directed & Choreographed by Kat Ross Kline
Musical Direction by Erica Silver
October 18-27, 2013
Pierrot Productions at

Kelsey Theatre
Mercer County Community College


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