It was announced recently that Carrie: The Musical would be revived on Broadway for MCC Theatre's 2011-12, season 22 years after it flopped like the fish in Faith No More's "Epic" video. How bad did Carrie, based as you may have guessed on the Stephen King novel and subsequent film, flop? Well, they named a history of Broadway failures Not Since Carrie. That should sum it up pretty well.
But hey, times they do a-change. Look at the world since Carrie was attempted. Horror musicals for the stage are on the rise, with Evil Dead and Re-Animator both doing respectably well. Repo: The Genetic Opera and the film version of Sweeney Todd were certainly proof that the cinema audiences at least are hungry for blood and arias. Maybe Carrie's time has come again.
If Carrie is ripe for the stage, we can think of several other films we'd like to see get the Broadway treatment.
Saw: The Opera
Saw and opera have a lot in common, and we don't just mean the wincing and the fact that neither make any sense whatsoever. The overall arc is the grand rise and fall of a larger than life figure who locks those around him into inescapable confrontations. Most of the people operas are based on are kind of psychotic anyway
For most of the first film in the series you don't even have to leave the basic set. The mystery aspect that forms much of the other aspects of the film isn't all that dissimilar to the mystery aspects of Phantom of the Opera. Also, think of how cool it would be to cut out the lights while Adam is being stalked by Jigsaw, singing a haunting tune while wandering up the aisles using a camera flash as the only light.
The only thing missing from such a show if it was based on the first film would be opportunities for Jigsaw himself to take center stage, as his absence is a main plot point. Perhaps a truly ingenious writer could work in some of Tobin Bell's fantastic speeches from the other films in some way.
Zombies Most Wanted: The Musical
From the moment we heard about local horror filmmaker Kevin De Vil's hunting show parody using zombies instead of deer we knew that it was going to be something special. Both the original short and the sequel were down and dirty, tongue in cheek, masterpieces of modern irreverence.
Honestly, such an approach to zombies is just what the stage needs. Between the guns, the hick characters, and the subtle dig at its own violence the shorts already play like Annie Get Your Gun as directed by Romero.
We're thinking something upbeat, something catchy with a good rock beat. You've got a great lead in the over-the-top Steve Killem, and in the end we might end up with the big zombie dance number we've all been waiting for since "Thriller."
The Monsters are Due On Maple Street
One of the most classic Twilight Zone episodes ever, "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" is a bone-chilling look at just how quickly we can turn on each other when there is no apparent enemy to be seen. As a study of human nature, the opportunities for character numbers are already plentiful. In execution it might be similar to Whistle Down the Wind, where a similar small community is whipped into a religious fervor and paranoia over an escaped convict.
Best of all, to anyone not immediately familiar with the original episode, a truly dramatic ending could be pulled off by having a flying saucer descend without warning and having the aliens end the show with a sad condemnation of the success of their experiment on human nature... and how ultimately it will lead to an easy conquest of the Earth.
Musically you'd have to have something really dynamic on this one. Somebody who could really blur the lines between melody and cacophony. You're not going to build tension with jazzy dance numbers. Frankly, this sounds like the perfect place for Trent Reznor to move onto Broadway.
An Evening With Jason Vorhees
Of all the masked mass murderers in the horror realm, none stand as tall or as silent as the hockey masked maniac of the Friday the 13th films. And yet, we barely know him in a sense. Sure, his traumatic childhood, mother's obsession with the occult, and his hatred of boinking are all well documented, but what exactly is the adult Jason Vorhees thinking.
A one-man show from his perspective, reliving his childhood and favorite murders is the only logical course of action in our opinion. Surely if America can love the performances of John Leguizamo or Will Ferrell's portrayal of Bush in You're Welcome America then they can appreciate an honest, but endearing confession by Jason.
That's not to say there couldn't be some blood and guts. A few random murders of plants in the audience would keep things lively and, you know, current. Maybe we're just keen on hearing a song called "Love Machete Style," or maybe this is the best idea ever. Who can say?
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.