While a new version of the blood-soaked prom queen, “Carrie” blows up the box office this Halloween season, Out of the Box Theatre Company has brought their own production of Stephen King’s classic horror tale to the stage. Yet, “Carrie: The Musical” is not new. Instead, it’s a story of growing pains.
A dozen years after Brian De Palma’s film, the Royal Shakespeare Company workshopped a musical version, but it was beset by tech problems, and the 1988 Broadway production closed after five performances. It was the definition of a flop. Or so everyone thought. Remade as an off-Broadway musical without the special effects and with fewer characters, the revivals began to happen, first illegally, with companies performing without the rights. Then a proper, 2012 revival occurred with new songs from the writers. “Carrie” had risen from the grave.