An infamous Broadway
disaster, the musical version of Carrie
opened at the Virginia Theatre
on 52nd Street
on Thursday, May 12, 1988 and closed on Sunday, May 15, 1988. Five performances (plus 16 previews), $7 million lost. It’s considered the greatest theatrical flop
of all time and eventually lent its name to a book about flops, Not Since Carrie
The cast included Betty Buckley as Carrie’s mom and 17-year-old Linzi Hateley as Carrie herself; choreography was by Debbie Allen. Directed by Terry Hands, a Royal Shakespeare veteran with no experience at American musicals -- in a NY Times interview, he likened the experience to “wrestling with a boa constrictor,” noting that the show’s producers were as green as he.
They tried to make the storyline substantial and appropriately heavy. Apparently the play focuses on Carrie’s mom, showing how her domineering, strictly religious beliefs helped drive Carrie to madness...
Oh, who am I kidding, it sounds awful. Frank Rich, in the New York Times: “When was the last time you saw a Broadway song and dance about the slaughtering of a pig? They've got one to open Act II of Carrie, and no expense has been spared in bringing the audience some of the loudest oinking this side of Old McDonald's Farm."
See also Rocky on Broadway and be afraid, be very afraid.