A CARRIE TIMELINE
Carrie, an American horror novel, and author Stephen King’s first published novel is released on April 5, 1974, with an approximate first print-run of 30,000 copies. The story revolves around the eponymous Carrie, a shy high-school girl, who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tease her. King has commented that he finds the work to be “raw” and “with a surprising power to hurt and horrify.” It becomes one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools.
Carrie becomes an American supernatural horror film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen, starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, and John Travolta. Opening at #1 on the Variety chart, the film garners rave reviews:
“The best scary-funny movie since JAWS — a teasing, terrifying, lyrical shocker” (Pauline Kael)
and perhaps the best and most prophetic quote of all:
“CARRIE is an American gothic masterpiece… it’s a horror classic, and years from now it will still be written about and argued about, and it will still be scaring the daylight out of new generations of moviegoers” (Stephen Farber, New West Magazine)
The film is a major success for United Artists, grossing $33.8 million at the U.S. box office, on a budget of $1.8 million. For her breakthrough role, Spacek is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, while Laurie is nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
After attending a performance of the controversial opera LULU at the Metropolitan Opera, screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen and composer Michael Gore are inspired to turn Carrie into a Broadway musical. They engage frequent collaborator, Dean Pitchford, to write the lyrics.
In August 1984, a workshop of the first act is staged at 890 Broadway (New York City) with Annie Golden as Carrie, Maureen McGovern as Mrs. White, Laurie Beechman as Miss Gardner, and Liz Callaway as Chris. It is soon announced that ‘CARRIE THE MUSICAL’ will be making its way to Broadway. Bob Fosse, Mike Nichols, Jerome Robbins and Ken Russell are among just a few of the illustrious names who meet with the creative team to discuss directing.
The prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company in England picks CARRIE THE MUSICAL to follow up its mammoth success, LES MISERABLES, at its theatre in Stratford. Produced in association with Friedrich Kurz, directed by Terry Hands, and choreographed by Debbie Allen, the production features a half British/ half American cast. Unknown Linzi Hately finds out she has secured the title role on her 17th birthday, and in a coup-de-theatre, Broadway legend Barbara Cook is coaxed out of retirement to play the role of Margaret White.
On February 13, 1988, CARRIE opens to enthusiastic audiences and dismissive reviews. After a technical misstep nearly decapitates her, Barbara Cook decides to depart the production. Broadway star Betty Buckley, who appeared in a supporting role in the Brian DePalma film version, agrees to replace her.
On April 28, 1988, CARRIE begins performances at the Virginia Theatre on Broadway. Featuring only minor changes from its run at Stratford, the production is instantly greeted with some of the most divisive and outrageous audiences responses ever recorded in the New York Theatre. Before the preview period has ended, the musical has already hit ‘ iconic’ status.On May 12, 1988 the show opens to both extreme raves (New York Post , The Hollywood Reporter) and vicious pans (The New York Times , Variety). Despite growing word of mouth ticket sales, the production closes May 15, 1988 after only 16 previews and 5 performances.
Ken Mandlbaum’s book Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops solidifies the musical’s place as one of the most notorious Broadway productions of the 20th century. The original creative team of the musical receive countless offers from theatres and colleges hoping to revive CARRIE, but all are refused. Dozens of bootleg recordings of the original productions surface on YouTube, fueling the musical’s ‘cult’ following.
Following two years of workshops, CARRIE receives its first revival in a heavily revised ‘chamber’ musical adaptation at Off Broadway’s MCC Theatre on January 31, 2012. Directed by Stafford Arima and featuring Marin Mazzie and Molly Ranson, CARRIE THE MUSICAL is given a new contemporary spin set in the present day. Critics and audiences remain fiercely polarized by the piece, and once again, CARRIE as a musical stakes out another chapter in its fiercely controversial history.
The MCC production receives 13 theater award nominations, winning Best Musical Revival from the Off-Broadway Alliance. Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts also records a performance for posterity — a rare honor for an off-Broadway production. The long awaited premiere cast album is recorded on Ghostlight Records, and enters the Broadway Billboard chart at #1 in its first week.
MGM and Screen Gems release a new film version of Carrie, written by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa, from the novel by Stephen King and the original screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen. The film is directed by Kimberly Peirce. Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore star.
On March 12, 2015, CARRIE THE MUSICAL opens to rave reviews in its professional Southern California premiere, as an all new, environmental, audience-immersive production. Featuring Emily Lopez as Carrie and Misty Cotton as Margaret, and directed by Brady Schwind, the staging is produced by The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, The Transfer Group, and Tony Award winning producing team, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman.
On October 1, 2015, CARRIE THE MUSICAL transfers to the historic Los Angeles Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. for a special six week return engagement.