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Theater & Dance

What's Missing in the Latest Version of 'Carrie'


A conversation about the lack of camp (and Betty Buckley) in the current production of the much-maligned musical


Marin Mazzie (left) and Molly Ranson in a scene from Carrie, photo by Joan Marcus

Rather than review MCC's production of Carrie, currently playing at The Lucille Lortel, Mark Peikert and Jerry Portwood--who both saw the play (including the very first preview on January 31, which was attended by Piper Laurie, the actress who played Carrie's mother in the original movie)--GChat their take on the performance. Here, we present their unvarnished conversation, ranging from teen bullying campaigns to Susan Sontag and Betty Buckley, to help you decide if this is the Carrie stage adaptation for you.

Feb 29, 2012

12:10 PM

Mark: Seeing Carrie tonight; did it get better?

Jerry: it's def better than when I saw it before

But that WAS the first preview, so I hope it would

the two ladies [Marin Mazzie & Molly Ranson] are worth it

but overall I think it's just... hard to satisfy our bloodlust

Jerry: I wanted to write a review of carrie and compare it with Lysistrata Jones

Mark: Ooooh

Jerry: about middle-aged men writing high school musicals

Mark: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson might make a good comparison too:

How to write about serious topics without taking yourself too seriously, which seems to be what this new incarnation is doing from what I've heard

Jerry: it's very serious: about school bullying!

Mark: It's a little like remaking Mommie Dearest as a straight drama

The camp will always be there

Jerry: yes

now THAT's a perfect comparison

Mark: "Mommie Dearest is VERY SERIOUS about child abuse!"

Jerry: I think I need to re-read notes on camp NOW

Mark: Lord, you and Sontag

SIGN OFF: 12:29 PM

DAY LATER: Mar 1, 2012

10:31 AM

Mark: Saw Carrie last night. Although Andrew and I call it Sue Snell the Snorical.

Jerry: hehe. You took Andrew with you? Good choice

Mark: Our favorite part of Sue Snell the Snorical was when the gym teacher says, "He was 6 feet, 7 inches...tall"

It felt like Carrie died just so Sue learned a Life Lesson

Jerry: exactly!

they made it all about HER

and who cares about HER

Mark: NO ONE

And the score is so mediocre, I was singing the songs with them. What terrible rhymes!

Jerry: and isn't it amazing how wide Marin Mazzie can open that trap?

she could catch flies with that!

It's a night you'll NEVER forget!

Mark: Thank god! She was the only one serving you crazy

Jerry: she has gotten on the crazy train

she wasn't nearly crazy enough when I first saw it

they amped that up to 11

Mark: It was like Carrie had Asbergers

Jerry: Carrie is definitely on the autism spectrum

I have to say, when I saw it all crazy camped up with Sherry Vine and puppets by Basil Twist in the basement of PS 122...that was AMAZING

and I laughed

there were like two times when the audience WANTED to laugh in this version but it was stifled

10:37 AM

like: you're not ALLOWED to laugh at this

Mark: No, because It Gets Better

Jerry: I was so WAITING for them to say: It gets better!

Jerry: one was when she SLAMS the fake windows shut

Mark: YES

With her Mind Hands

Jerry: but they resisted letting us laugh

Mark: They should have just revived the original crazy ass production, and that would run for 2 years. Even bring back Betty Buckley! Get her off Twitter for a while.

Carrie, Through April 22. Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher St. 212-352-3101,

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