Review: Experience the Bloody Good “Carrie: The Killer Musical”

Emily Lopez as Carrie in “Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience” (Jason Niedle)

Emily Lopez as Carrie in “Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience” (Jason Niedle)

If you’re seeking a theatrical horror offering this month, you can’t miss the production of “Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience” at the historic Los Angeles Theatre. The Broadway revival makes its way to the city right on time for Halloween season. Los Angeles’ rich horror/cult audience and anyone curious about a musical version of Stephen King’s novel needs to get on over to the theater for a one-of-a-kind, immersive and intimate show.

And by intimate, we mean VERY intimate.

The Senior Class seating section of the intricate, gym-bleacher thrust set, ingeniously designed by Stephen Gifford, puts you right in the action. You become part of the crowd at Ewel High, witnessing the bullying Carrie endures from the popular kids, the inner struggle of students who regret (or don’t regret) the fateful bathroom incident that leads straight into the Prom Night from hell. Just be happy your feet don’t touch the ground.

Under the direction of Brady Schwind, the story unfolds in entrancing yet unsettling ways. You’re there with Sue (the phenomenal Kayla Parker) as she is giving her statement about what happened, and through the music and top-notch performances, Carrie comes to life in a new way.

You really can’t miss this. The fantastically diverse ensemble not only captures the teen spirit of each of their characters but really bring it musically.

Lead protagonist Emily Lopez gives us a Carrie filled with innocent, awkward charm on the verge of womanhood and untapped supernatural potential, but by the Second Act delivers a riveting transformation into the powerful horror icon. She doesn’t just deliver it in her performance but also vocally as her singing covers her character’s full range of emotions and power. She is utterly compelling.

As a perfect antagonist, actress Misty Cotton embodies a new type of horrifying Margaret White, who along with Lopez, creates a tragic and empathetic mother-daughter relationship. Fellow villain Chris Hargensen, played by the delightfully devious Valerie Rose Curiel, just relishes her role as the other half of Carrie’s torment at school and is fun to watch until the very end. Jon Robert Hall as Tommy and Garrett Marshall as Billy round out the main players, fitting their bills perfectly as the popular jock and malicious bad-boy, respectively.

The final act is sure to give you goosebumps, have you cheering and maybe needing a poncho. The show runs through mid-November, so get your tickets now and prepare yourself for a Prom Night you won’t soon forget.

“Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience” runs at 8 p.m. (Tuesday through Friday); 6:30 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday); 11 p.m. (Saturday); 2 p.m. (Sunday) through Nov. 15 at Los Angeles Theatre (615 S. Broadway, Los Angeles). For tickets and more information, visit experiencecarrie.com.

Sabina Ibarra is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter: @Wicked_Phoenix

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