The Egads! Theatrical Company stepped out of their customary productions on Oct. 4, with their opening of Carrie: The Musical at the Off Center Theatre in Crown Center. Egads, generally known for the humorous and campy musicals such as Evil Dead: The Musical and the Rocky Horror Show, has proven with this production that they have a flare for the dramatic.
Carrie: The Musical is from the book by Lawrence D. Cohen, music by Michael Gore and lyrics by Dean Pitchford and is based on the horror classic by Stephen King. Egads and Steven Eubank, the director, have assembled one of the most talented casts and creative teams to stage a production in the Kansas City theaters.
Carrie White isn’t your normal run-of-the-mill teen. She is a girl who is bullied by her mother and all the kids at school. It’s not enough to be an awkward teen, she also has telekinetic powers which become most prevalent on prom night.
Chelsea Anglemyer plays Carrie and only one thing can be said about her performance: sensational. Anglemyer describes herself as, “an actor, singer and dancer” in that order. After she sings the first few notes it is obvious that she has a magnificent and powerful voice. It is easy to understand why she considers herself and actress first, as fantastic as her voice was it was overshadowed by her ability to act. I can’t imagine even Sissy Spacek, who played Carrie in the 1976 film, selling the main character to the audience better than Anglemyer. With this role Anglemyer has proven she is the complete package.
Megan Herrera plays Sue, the high school student that first makes fun of Carrie, but then regrets her actions and tries to befriend her. Herrera has a wonderful voice and her depiction of the character was superb. She has previously performed in Kansas City with The Unicorn Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, The Living Room Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
Chris is the antagonist of Carrie in the production and is played by Stefanie Wienecke. The audience quickly begins to hate Chris, but you can’t help but love Wienecke in her portrayal. Her facial expressions and body language spell evil with a capital E. Her voice is very strong, yet delightful to listen to.
Tara Varney plays Margaret White, the overly controlling and religious fanatic mother of Carrie. Her acting is robust and deliberate, yet her singing voice is even stronger. Her interpretation of the mother makes you first despise her and feel even sorrier for Carrie. Later you can feel her anguish as she begins to lose control of Carrie. It won’t be long before you’ll be shocked at her actions, but you will have to see the show to find out what that action is.
Carrie: The Musical continues at the Off Center Theatre through November 2nd.