Get ready for “Carrie, The Musical.” Yes, the Stephen King story of telekinesis, religious fanaticism and high school bullying — a story that was turned into a hugely successful movie, but has had a long and checkered history on stage — has just become part of Bailiwick Chicago Theater’s revised 2014 season. The Chicago premiere of the show, featuring Katherine Condit, will run May 29-July 12, 2014, as part of the company’s residency in the upstairs studio of the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln.
Opening the company’s season (March 6-April 5, 2014 ) will be “Dessa Rose,” the musical drama by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the Tony Award-winning team behind “Ragtime”), to be directed by Bailiwick artistic director Lili-Anne Brown, with music direction by James Morehead. It will feature Jayson “JC” Brooks (the charismatic leader of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound). Based on the novel by Sherley Anne Williams, it unfolds as an oral history related by two women — one a wealthy white woman abandoned by her husband and living on an isolated farm in Alabama, and the other an escaped black slave. Their unlikely friendship is forged in 1847, 14 years before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
“Carrie,” which debuted in 1988 and has gone through several permutations, features a book by original screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Academy Award-winner Dean Pitchford and music by Academy Award-winner Michael Gore. It will be directed by Christopher Pazdernik, with music direction by Aaron Benham. (Incidentally, a remake of the film, directed by Kimberly Pierce, and starring Chloë Grace Moretz as the title character and Julianne Moore as Carrie’s mother, is set for release this Oct. 18.)
“Both of these shows deal with women who are subjugated and yearn to break free,” noted Brown. “They become empowered through the most extreme circumstances – for good or for ill. It’s exciting to have two musicals that share a common story, though they are as different as they could possibly be in how that story is told.”
These two Chicago premieres are replacing the previously announced Bailiwick productions of “Bootcandy” and “Applause.” Tickets will go on sale at a later date. For additional information visit bailiwickchicago.com.
NOTE: Bailiwick’s third annual casting auction will put more than 50 roles up for bid for later public performances of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” It will be held Nov. 2, 2013 at the Dank Haus German American Cultural Center Grand Ballroom, 4740 N. Western Ave.