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A CurtainUp Review
Surprise! It isn't scary or gory or a musical. It's a skit, an elongated comedy sketch, well-directed by Michael Alltop. More domesticated than spectacular or haunting, it's frightfully funny.
Carrie transpires in a wonderfully unpredictable space. Underground Arts at the Wolf Building is a big basement site that's emerging as a major performance venue for newer small companies. It offers the opportunity for proscenium-pushing theatre, and it has seen some out-there, concept/ participation/ crazy stuff. The Carrie production, however, remains safely within the boundaries of the chosen performance space.
With the feel of, "Hey kids, let's do a zany Carrie take-off.", the deliberately amateurish looking props and set pieces are actually professionally put together and well-used. Shower stalls become office windows become library bookshelves. There is puppetry and the flat car sets are fabulous. I want one.
Although there is no prom song, the recorded music in the sound mix is well-chosen. The show's 'ust spoofing with the theme' vibe stays with it throughout. There's impressive acting all around. Leah Walton is incredible as the repressed religious fanatic, Mrs. White, and Colleen M. Corcoran does a great, acrobatic, boy-besotted turn as gym teacher, Miss Gardner. Erik Ransom's drag Carrie is restrained, as Carrie will be, until she's pushed a little too far. She's more boo-hoo than Boo!
There's a big build up to what should have been a dramatic payoff, but the all important Prom Night is cardboard, two-dimensional, and it begs for more zap and drama.
Set your horror expectation meter way down and your silly-radar way up, and you'll enjoy BRAT's Halloween show. Written by Erik Jackson after King's hit novel, it successfully premiered off-Broadway a few years ago. This show is not startling or interactive or dripping with horror. It's not cutting edge. Then what is it? It's a whole lot of fun, a good time.
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