M&W Theatre Group presents Carrie: The Musical Horror
Directed by Malissa Marlow
Runs February 7th-17th
8:00pm performances on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
2:00pm on Saturdays and 4:30pm on Sundays
Studio/Stage Theatre, 520 N. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004.
Based on the musical by Lawrence D. Cohen (book), Dean Pitchford (lyrics), and Michael Gore (music), and inspired by Stephen King’s novel. Carrie: The Musical Horror is about a woman named Carrie (Tianna Cohen), who discovers she possesses telekinetic powers. She is the persona non grata at Chamberlin High School; the subject of her classmates vicious taunts and cruel bullying. Carrie additionally does not receive any support at home, stuck in an abusive relationship with a fervently religious mother(Leah Dalrymple) whose primary concern is Carrie's salvation, not her overall well-being. When her P.E teacher Miss Gardner(Jeanette Airen), her kind classmate Sue Snell(Malissa Marlow), and Sue's boyfriend Tommy Ross(Noah Canada) reach out to try and help Carrie, it seems that for once, Carrie might have a shot at happiness and acceptance. But Chris Hargensen (Kena Worthen), the schools most barbarous bully and the primary source of torment for Carrie, alongside the schools resident bad boy Billy Nolan (Conner Stevens) formulate a plot to humiliate Carrie the night of their Senior Prom. When all goes awry Carrie’s powers threaten to overwhelm her, and devour everyone in her path.
Tianna Cohen does a tremendous job of portraying timid, meek and docile Carrie, while still hiding great darkness within her. Paired with on stage mother Leah Dalrymple, who so convincingly plays the hurt abused zealot of a mother, clinging to her orthodox doctrine as she deals with her abuse and trauma. Dalrymple commands the stage in every scene she is in with an extraordinary and breathtaking vocal range and performance.
The supporting cast delivers clear voices and beautiful harmonies, notably Cohen and Dalrymple, whose on-stage chemistry and musical duets stand out as strong highlights of the show. At times, unfortunately, hampered by the vocal levels and the mix of the music, the cast can be quiet and hard to hear during the performance.
Setting and design were minimal having to double up on the use of the set for the various scenes, I applaud the great use of special effects and lighting. I would love to see the show on a larger stage and see what this talented crew could do with a larger budget.
Overall I recommend Carrie: The Musical Horror for a bloody good time.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.mwtheatre.org/
The cast includes: Tianna Cohen (Carrie White), Leah Dalrymple (Margaret White), Malissa Marlow (Susan Snell), Kena Worthen (Chris Hargensen), Noah Canada (Tommy Ross), Conner Stevens (Billy Nolan), Jeanette Airen (Miss Gardener), Michael Dumas (George Dawson), Blake Kevin Dwyer (Kenny Stokes), Luke Smith (Freddy Holt), Tiffany Bobbs(Norma Watson), Bella Phillips (Frieda Jason), Audrey Fischer (Helen Shyres), and Dave Faulkner (Mr. Stephens/Reverend Bliss/Detective).
Creative team: Choreography and Costume Design by Kena Worthen. Musical Direction by Mark Nilan. Lighting Design by Greg Crafts