It is now one year since my arrival to Edmonton, which means that this is my first Fringe Festival. As I began to look into the showcased performances, I knew that Carrie: The Musical was a must-see for me. Being obsessed with all things horror, I was well-versed in Stephen King’s chilling tale of a misfit who has been bullied for the last time, and thus could not wait to see how the story would translate into a musical.
Carrie: The Musical tells the story of a high school girl who just doesn’t fit in. She is picked on by all of the popular kids in her school, and on the night of their school prom they take it too far and face the revenge of their once forgettable classmate.
The first character that we come across is Sue Snell and I was immediately smitten by actress Jaime Reese’s portrayal of the traumatized high school student. As I took in each musical number and the various instances of character development, I became increasingly invested in the performance. Abigail MacGregor as Norma also effortlessly added many well-timed comedic moments; the ease with which she could make the audience laugh, or stand out from the backdrop of whichever scene she was a part of was one of my favourite parts of the show. However, the actresses that stood out the most for me were Alyssa Billingsley and Amanda Neufeld as Carrie and Margaret White, respectively. They embodied the roles of sheltered misfits and overly-protective mothers. Every ounce of emotion came across beautifully. The standout song “And Eve Was Weak” was compellingly sung by this duo.
The show in its entirety was two hours long but I was hardly thinking about the time. The show was fast-paced and each scene change was smooth. The outfits were a bit confusing, but with the great talent of the cast it is easily forgivable. Overall Carrie: The Musical was a great way to experience the story originally written by Stephen King, for the stage by Lawrence D. Cohen and then, in its Edmonton debut, by Zachary Parsons-Lozinski.
Photo Courtesy of Carrie: The Musical Edmonton Fringe Production 2013