‘Riverdale’ resurrects ‘Carrie: The Musical’

They thought it was a good idea

It’s 1988, and I’m sitting behind my friend, Alex a.k.a. Boomer, in high school Algebra class. We’re discussing the biggest news in the history of things discussed during Algebra. They’re doing it. They’re making Stephen King’s “Carrie” into a musical. And it’s going on Broadway, no less.

Sissy Spacek as the original Carrie with William Katt, the original "Great American Hero" - image from the movie "Carrie" at senior prom
Sissy Spacek as the original Carrie with William Katt, the original “Great American Hero”

This announcement is a gift for anyone who appreciates life’s most ridiculous things. And this gift comes in phases. First, there’s the “Are You Kidding Me?” phase. Then the “This Is the Stupidest Thing Ever” phase. After that is the “Why Weren’t We Involved In This Project?” phase. And, finally, there’s the “Fine, We’ll Write Our Own Damn Musical!” phase.

I remember it like it was three or four days ago. Laughing, contemplating, and coming up with titles for the best musical songs ever for “Carrie.” The two I recall are “Here’s Pig’s Blood in Your Eye” and “Knives, Forks, and Spoons! Oh, my!”

I also remember finding out that it was shut down after only five shows on Broadway. It had tanked harder than “Spider-Man” would years later and was about as problematic.

Welcome back, ‘Carrie’

Fast forward to tonight – 30 years later. (What?! Are you kidding me?!) The new episode of the CW’s “Riverdale” – the murder- and sex-filled TV version of the “Archie” comics – is a musical. And not just any musical … “Carrie: The Musical.”

There’s no need to ask why. The answer is because it’s “Riverdale.”

Even Betty Cooper's mom, Alice, got a part in Riverdale High's version of "Carrie: The Musical." Understudy Midge is in the background.
Even Betty Cooper’s mom, Alice, got a part in Riverdale High’s version of “Carrie: The Musical.” Understudy Midge is in the background.

When the character Kevin announced the school’s musical at the end of the last episode, my first thought was, “Is that still a thing?” It is. According to Nerdist, it’s been a cult thing for a while. And that makes me happy.

Throughout the episode, the Riverdale characters sing some of the musical’s songs, both in their characters’ characters in the play and as the characters they normally are. Because of this, we the audience, get to experience some of the magic of “Carrie: The Musical.” The magic and the sheer cheesiness.

While I wasn’t much impressed, my 11-year-old “Riverdale” superfan daughter was even less so.

As Camila Mendes sang and danced as Veronica singing and dancing as the nasty, bitchy Chris, my daughter shook her head and said, “Nice mom-jeans.”

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