Hell in a Handbag Productions continues to celebrate their 10th anniversary with the show that started it all, SCARRIE The Musical, an unauthorized parody originally produced in 1998 with Sweetback Productions under the guidance of Kelly Anchors and Michael McKune.
SCARRIE The Musical, is both parody and homage to Carrie, the classic Stephen King story and the 1977 Brian DePalma film starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie. Carrie tells the tale of a misfit teenage girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by her classmates and religious fanatic mother. An invitation to the prom turns into a cruel hoax and the rest is cinema history.
The story (and the film) is a staple among pop culture junkies and for many, the first anti-bullying film. "I think the reason the film has held up is because people can relate to Carrie White. We've all been there, and this may not be the most politically correct thing to say, but we've all fantasized about getting some sort of revenge on our tormentors. Perhaps not to the extreme measure Carrie White went to..." says David Cerda, Handbag Artistic Director and playwright, adding "Our version is just one of many unauthorized parodies, but like all of our parody/homages, we have the utmost respect and fondness for the subject matter. That is the key to all of Handbags' shows. Laugh with the subject, not at it".
The original production of SCARRIE The Musical quickly became a cult hit thanks to a cast led by TJ O'Brien as Carrie White and (mostly) stellar reviews including one by then freelance reporter Chris Jones for the Chicago Tribune. The show ran for 18 months and only closed because the Chicago Andersonville neighborhood The Sweetcorn Playhouse was located in, needed room for more condominiums.
'The show was remounted in 2005 with Hell in a Handbag Productions and a bigger space and budget. "We had a tremendous success with POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical, and of course I wanted to make SCARRIE bigger and better- who wouldn't?" says playwright and Handbag Artistic Director David Cerda. "The show was a success- we had had a phenomenal cast and crew- but behind the scenes, the stress of growing as a company caused some internal strife within Handbag and I think it affected my ability to be a proper Executive Producer. Lesson learned".
The 2012 production of SCARRIE will follow the grid of the original black box space production with a few songs from the 2005 version, and a tweaked script. Handbag ensemble member Cheryl Snodgrass (HAYWIRE!, The Rip Nelson Halloween Spooktacular) will be directing the production. "I am very excited to work on the collision of two of my favorite popular writers - Stephen King and David Cerda (with no small contribution by Brian DePalma). It has been a riot to combine the theatrical story of Carrie with the camp spectacle of Hell in a Handbag. Most people know the story of Carrie even if they've never seen the movie so the iconic moments are familiar to everyone. We're at a great advantage because of that. The actors are having a blast paying homage to their characters while still putting the special twist you can only find in David Cerda's shows. This is going to be a prom you won't want to miss...".
Ensemble members in the show include Alex Grelle as Carrie White (Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, Sexy Baby), Ed Jones (TROGG! A Musical, POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical) as the sympathetic gym teacher. Miss Collins, AJ Wright (Sexy Baby) as Tommy Ross, the jock coerced into asking Carrie to the prom and Cerda as clueless Principal Gonzalez. The mean girls, headed by Aubrey Stanton as Chris Hargenson, Sadie Rogers (Norma), Sydney Genco (Debbie), Kelly Baskin (Candy) and Susan Sjodin (Diana). Steve Love plays the big permed, doe-eyed Sue Snell, and Cerda himself is the school principal. Rounding out the cast is David Lipschutz as bad boy Billy Nolan.