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A Successful run of 'Carrie: The Musical'

Stacey Addo | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Tom Hurlbut/Carrie: The Musical ECSU/2023

After a semester of rehearsals, the ECSU run of Carrie the Musical ran from Thursday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 3. The show has had much anticipation, and for the first time in 8 years, tickets for the run of Carrie sold out during pre-sale. Directed by senior Liv Skerry, the show has been almost entirely put together by students. It was well worth the hype! You could feel how much effort and care went into every step of creating the show in return, it was a night to never forget!

Carrie the Musical is based on the original 1974 horror novel by Stephen King Novel Carrie, a horror novel about a teenage girl named Carrie White who doesn’t fit in with her high school peers. She’s bullied, outcasted, and abused by her mother. Things begin to take a turn when Carrie learns she has telekinetic powers. The entire story leads up to the school's prom where things take a turn and Carrie can no longer take the abuse that she has been facing her entire life. The coming-of-age story tackles themes of bullying, religion, and trauma. While the idea of Carrie being turned into a show with singing and dancing sounds great, it's fantastic. Liv explains that she chose this show because Gen Z was born into a world where violence is the norm. She chose this show to challenge viewers to think about what things they can do to make a change and choose acts of kindness.

 Tom Hurlbut/Carrie: The Musical ECSU/2023

The show opens with first-year Natalie Boroque as Sue Snell who acts as a narrator with the cast coming in with the opening number In. The cast and their vocals were strong. When we first meet Carrie, played by first-year Emily Conte, we see her get bullied and get down on her knees and pray. I immediately loved her. One thing about this show is that the casting was perfect. Emily has a beautiful voice and a feeling of innocence that adds to the role. Her performance of Why Not Me towards the end of the show was one of my favorite moments for her. Also, her voice was incredibly paired with Joy Ikechukwu in Unsuspecting Hearts creating a beautiful moment. 

There was also a moment in the show right before intermission where Carrie finally stands up to her mother and tells her she will be going to the prom. Emily’s acting in this moment was chilling. When Carrie learns that she has telekinetic abilities, she makes a book levitate and opens a locker. From an audience perspective, watching the locker slam shut sold me on Carrie's discovery of her powers even if it was simply done with fishing line.

When we’re introduced to Carrie's mother, Margret, in the song And Eve was Weak we finally begin to understand her home life and the level of trauma that not only she experienced in her lifetime, but how much of that had been passed on to her daughter. The role was played by first-year Allison Thebeau whose performance has stayed with me since I left the theater. She has an incredibly strong voice and an incredible performance in this role. She was one of my personal favorites.

One of the next memorable moments for me was junior Sierra Boccuzzi and the rest of the cast's performance of the world according to Chris. The choreography (done by Megan Delaney) was so fun and filled with so much energy. Sierra and Kane Waggoner were great for the casting as Chris and Billy. They were snarky, annoying, and mean and Billy had some really funny moments – meaning they played their parts well!

Kyle Tinker-Palaia was perfect as Tommy Ross. From the moment I heard him begin to sing Dreamer in Disguise, I was drawn in. He was incredibly charming and was a great match with Natalie’s character.

The entire cast is incredibly talented. In between scenes, there were moments of improv and it was so fun to see the actors fully embrace their characters and I, (along with so much of the audience) couldn’t help but laugh. Some of my favorite moments came from Bella Cruz and Adrian Silberberg but also included Samantha Mallory, JP Roberts, Tyler Warren, and Lizzy Yacono. 

When it came to the infamous ending of the show where Carrie gets blood dumped on her head, it was executed amazingly! I felt the tension from the moment that the blood fell on Carrie's head, all the way until the end of the show. I appreciated all of the actors' commitment to the scene because it paid off and I could feel every emotion from every single character. My only complaint for this entire show was that I wish they had included more of the telekinetic effects from earlier in the show. They were so impressive and with all of the build-up that led to this scene, I would’ve loved to see one more cool effect. The end scene with Sue’s final song sent chills down my spine. If this is her performance as a first-year, I can only imagine where she’ll be as a senior. If you weren’t able to grab tickets to see this show, I hate to let you know that you missed out on an incredible show with an incredible cast and crew of students. Congratulations to Liv and the rest of the cast and crew!

 Tom Hurlbut/Carrie: The Musical ECSU/2023


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