“Carrie The Musical” Produced by Balagan Theatre

Just in time for Halloween, Balagan, in their new location at the spiffed up Moore Theatre, brings us the sad tale of Carrie. Bullied by her high school classmates, subjected to the insane ravings and rules of her religious crackpot of a mother, she wants so much to just be an ordinary teenager with all the friendships, boyfriends, and party times that so many of them enjoy. No way Carrie, normal life is not for you!

Based on a book by Stephen King was the wildly successful movie “Carrie.” “Carrie The Musical” has a less successful past. It’s meant to move you, scare you, and thrill you with its mix of ballroom glitter and bloody retribution. Balagan’s production, starring Keaton Whittaker as Carrie, achieves less than that as have all the other attempts. The voices of this cast are well blended; the soloists are in good form, but hearing what they say/sing is difficult, and most of the special effects just aren’t special.

The climactic moment in the play comes when Carrie’s most determined enemy arranges to have a bucket of blood pour down on her at the happiest moment of her life so far. She, the outcast, has been invited to the prom by one of her nicest classmates. She’s made a pretty dress, done her hair in an attractive style, and she can almost believe she’s normal. The bloodbath and the horror that follows should be stupefying for the audience, but they aren’t.

Standouts in the cast include Tessa Archer as the villainous teenager. She’s almost too believable. Larissa Schmitz is sweet without being syrupy as the good teenager. And Kody Bringman as Tommy, Carrie’s prom date, captures the awkwardness of teenage boys as well as the grace of a true gentleman.

There’s wonderful use of the mirrored ball that shoots spots of swirling lights around the auditorium and stage. For me, that was the best part of the production.

Through Oct. 26, The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle (877 784-4849 or www.balagantheatre.org).

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