We all had an amazing surprise at the Friday performance (March 7th, 2014) of the final weekend of the five week run of Carrie: The Musical. By we, I mean the cast, crew, Beck Center staff, and the audience, as Larry Cohen, who adapted the original novel, Carrie, by Stephen King, to the screenplay for the 1976 Brian De Palma movie, of the same name, flew in from Los Angeles just to see our production. Larry also wrote the original 1988 Carrie: the Musical for Broadway and was involved with the rewritten, later version which premiered off Broadway in 2012. This later version is what our Carrie is based on. Larry came to see us not because he was begged but because he expressed an interest in our production via buzz around town, talking with Vicky, our director, and reading some of our wonderful reviews. It wasn't until the last weekend that we even confirmed that he was actually coming, and when we heard the news it was such an exciting and rare thing!
When Friday came, the cast stepped up our game tenfold in order to give him the best performance we had in us, and we certainly did. After the show we were all called to the stage for a talk back hosted by Scott Spence, theatre coordinator of the Beck Center. Larry talked about his tribulations and plight with "Carrie" to an attentive audience. He developed a love for the story back in 1974 when it was published. Carrie was Stephen Kings first novel and remains one of his best known. Cohen wanted to make the novel into a chord-striking movie which pointed directly at bullying which was a different issue in the late 70's than it is now where we live in a cyber world. He stuck with the project with heart, weeding through producers and teammates, surviving premieres, flops, rejections, revisions, and re-writes..etc. His journey with Carrie stretched over nearly four decades. His passion for storytelling and the novel shined right through his eyes as he was talking about it. A truly amazing journey to have it where it is now: a great, catchy funny yet heavy and deep horror piece that works great for colleges and regional theatre companies. Carrie's run with Broadway was short and bitter, but it is an amazing piece that will go down in history, and I'm proud to say I got to meet its creator and father, and be a part of a truly incredible production.