Carrie On Stage -- In drag!


This looks crazy! How about Carrie White in drag? Not really a fan of drag; but for Carrie White, it seems strangely right. I don't know, my head is spinning around like the Exorcist on this one! Wish I was in Philadelphia to go see it because everything about this looks fresh, creative and very energetic. Brat Productions is calling this a "comic horror thrill ride" -- nice! CARRIE. The play will run from October 2 through November 7, 2010; appropriately the Halloween season.
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PHILADELPHIA –
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This October, Brat Productions presents Carrie like never before in a black comedy by Erik Jackson, based on the legendary 1974 novel by Stephen King. Fresh from last Halloween’s critically acclaimed Haunted Poe (Best Production of a Play, Philadelphia Weekly), Brat offers another distinctive theater experience with the gender-bending Philadelphia premiere of Jackson's adaptation of King’s bestselling novel.
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Carrie begins previews October 2, opens on October 7 (press night), and runs through November 7, 2010 at Underground Arts at the Wolf Building (340 North 12th Street, Philadelphia). Tickets, ranging from $15 – $29, will be available soon at www.bratproductions.org and through TicketLeap.
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Directed by Brat Productions’ Producing Artistic Director Michael Alltop, Carrie features puppets and costumes from Haunted Poe’s Alisa Sickora Kleckner and stunning special effects – exploding light bulbs, flying knives, electric shocks, a car crash, and a burning high school – created by a team that includes Sickora Kleckner, along with set designer Chris Kleckner, lighting designer Paul Moffitt and Michael Christaldi . Erik Jackson’s Carrie includes all of the magic and blood-drenched horror of the original bestselling novel with surprising and hilarious new twists.
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Adding a gender-bending spin, New Jersey-based actor, drag performer, and musician Erik Ransom (off-Broadway’s My Big Gay Italian Wedding) will play the iconic telekinetic outcast, Carrie White.
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The cast of nine features notable Philadelphia actors: Leah Walton (EgoPo’s Spring Awakening and Azuka Theatre’s Nerve) as Carrie’s religious fanatic mother Margaret White, Bradley Wrenn (Swim Pony’s SURVIVE!, ’09 Philly Fringe’s The Annihilation Point) as Carrie’s love interest Tommy Ross, Bethany Ditnes (Luna Theater’s Sick) as the quintessential mean girl Chris Hargensen, Mariel Rosati (Montgomery Theater’s Moonlight and Magnolias) as Sue Snell, Jess Conda (Brat’s Haunted Poe, and the ’10 reincarnation of a 24-hour Bald Soprano) as Norma Watson, Justin Jain (Brat’s Haunted Poe) as Billy Nolan, Colleen Corcoran (company member of Madhouse Theater Company) as Miss Gardner, and Jarrod Yuskauskas (Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) as the principal, Mr. Morton.
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Brat has salvaged lockers and curtains from a closed high school to add a layer of reality to the oppressive school environment, setting the scene for Carrie’s fiery rage-filled prom night massacre, which The New York Times applauds, saying, “The story’s big prom-night finish has never been more fun.”
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Says playwright Erik Jackson, “I was lucky enough to be introduced to Michael Alltop, and Brat Productions through a mutual friend when Michael was looking for a writer on another project, and I really admired the excellent, adventurous work they were doing. I can't wait to see what they do with Carrie. Michael has let slip a few things already that have made my jaw drop.”
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Alltop says, “Halloween is about imagination, a time in which even adults get into the spirit of the season and play ‘dress up,’ assume an alter-ego, and let go of inhibitions. These are qualities that all theater artists employ on a daily basis, but it’s unusual for most ‘normal’ people. By producing a show every Halloween, we aim to get people out of their comfort zones and close the gap between artists and audiences. Our goal is to show just how engaging a work of theater can be.”
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ABOUT THE PLAY
After playwright Erik Jackson wrote an impassioned 6-page letter asking Stephen King to entrust him with one of his great bestsellers, the world-renowned novelist agreed to allow Jackson and Theatre Couture (creators of the off-Broadway hits Charlie! and Tell-Tale) to mine Carrie for humor, developing it into a dark comedy for 2006’s sold-out off-Broadway run at PS122 in New York, featuring the internationally-recognized drag queen Sherry Vine (aka Keith Levy) as Carrie White.
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Carrie – which has also been a 1976 feature film directed by Brian De Palma, a 1988 Broadway musical, a 1999 feature film sequel, and a 2002 television movie – tells the story of young Carrie White who is painfully shy, unfortunately na├»ve, and telekinetic. Carrie's fundamentalist Christian mother Margaret has been tormenting her for years, and things are even worse at school. When a terrified Carrie gets her first period in the school locker room's shower, her classmates taunt her and pelt her with feminine products. Banned from the prom for the locker room harassment, the gorgeous but cruel Chris Hargensen hatches an awful plan to exact revenge by humiliating Carrie in front of the whole school at the senior prom. But, what Chris doesn't know is that Carrie can move things with her mind, and she'll soon find out that she picked the wrong girl to mess with.
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“The essential nature of the story to me is the examination of the outsider, the outcast, the loser,” says Jackson. “I think most everyone on the planet at one time or another has felt like that person. I was intrigued by the idea of exploring a reverse Cinderella story: the put-upon ugly duckling gets the guy, goes to the ball – and then it all goes to hell, quite literally. I love extremes in my own work, and have always been drawn to the contrast between King's novel's sweet, quiet moments and the gruesome spectacle.”
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ABOUT BRAT PRODUCTIONS
Founded in 1996, Brat Productions is committed to “thinking outside the proscenium” with performance pieces that are surprising and incendiary, entertaining and unsettling. Brat’s mission is to create an audience of the future by producing theatre that breaks the rules; theatre that tests conventions; theatre that rocks! Over the years, Brat has established itself as one of Philadelphia’s most adventurous theatre companies and is known for using unusual performance venues to enhance original and noteworthy productions. Its numerous productions have included Three Chord Fiction, winner of the Ted and Stevie Wolf Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration, Haunted Poe, A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Eye-95: Retarred.
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CARRIE ONLINE
For an insider look at Carrie, regular updates on the show, tips for audience members and more, follow Brat Productions online:
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Official Website www.bratproductions.org
Become a Fan of Brat on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bratproductions?ref=ts
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Carrie has been funded by the Wyncote Foundation. Brat has received 2010-11 season support from the William Penn Foundation, Haas Trust “A”, Samuel S. Fels Fund, and the Independence Foundation.
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Dates: October 2 – November 7, 2010
Previews run October 2-6
Opening night is Thursday, October 7
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Location: Underground Arts at the Wolf Building
340 North 12th Street (at Callowhill)
Philadelphia, PA
Tickets: $15 – $29

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