A bloody good prom - CARRIE with Outskirts
Horror takes the stage at Waukesha North High School as the local professionals at Outskirts Theatre Co bring the bloody coming-of-age story to life through March 8th. The Dean Pitchford, Stephen King, Michael Gore, and Lawrence D. Cohen rock musical has strong moments, but comes with a curse.
Francesca Steitz, Jackey Boelkow, and Amanda Satchell.
Actress Francesca Steitz carries the title role with a delicate balance of timid awkwardness and untapped potential, leading audiences straight into her inevitable fate. She is only undercut by the audio quality of the microphones, cutting in and out during her biggest songs. Unscathed by the microphones is Jackey Boelkow's Chris, who belts effortlessly into the high heavens and guides the plot back towards hell in an impressive show of vocal and acting chops.
The company of CARRIE.
Samantha Paige's choreography is angsty and loaded with rage - in the best way. The energy and passion with which every move is delivered opens a door into the frustration of a high school mind. Even with a completely adult cast, Paige's work suspends disbelief into the worst years of pubescence. Hand-in-hand, director Ryan Albrechtson's costume design brings horror and high school together by walking the line between realism and a sexualized elevated theatricality.
Kaytie Phipps' lighting and sound design does prevent the storytelling to a degree. The Waukesha North stage is a full-sized auditorium, and it doesn't quite lend itself to lighting which brings an element of spooky. Instead, the performance is primarily under full washes and misaligned spotlights, which distract from the undeniably talented ensemble.
Outskirts has assembled some of the strongest greater Milwaukee talents for one production. Each cast member has made appearances as starring roles in other productions, building a star-studded ensemble with no true weak links. Where some technical elements fall short, the talent is unfaltering.
The show runs through March 8th.