Carrie - Synopsis

2012 Off-Broadway revival musical
Carrie the musical - SYNOPSIS


Act I

Sue Snell, haunted witness and tour guide to our story, struggles to recount the incidents leading up to the tragic night of May 28. As she's questioned about the past, figures from her life in high school appear. Whatever their differences - be they good girl Sue, her varsity-athlete boyfriend Tommy Ross, her spoiled-rotten best friend Chris Hargensen, Chris' trouble-maker boyfriend Billy Nolan, or perennial misfit Carrie White - they are all wrestling with the same insecurities and united in their desire to belong ("In Lyrics").

After gym class, Carrie experiences her first period in the shower. Her terrified screams for help and seeming ignorance about what's happening to her amuse and inflame the girls. With Chris as ringleader, Sue and the others encircle Carrie, gleefully chanting names and savagely taunting her. As gym teacher Miss Gardner races in at the height of Carrie's hysteria, an overhead light bulb inexplicably explodes. When the girls are reprimanded, they dismissively rationalize, "It's just Carrie," the butt of their jokes since childhood.

Miss Gardner and guidance counselor/English teacher Mr. Stephens send Carrie home for the rest of the day. But even as she leaves, her classmates' hurtful insults and name-calling ricochet in Carrie's mind until she cracks in fury ("Carrie Lyrics"). Tommy and his pals discuss the upcoming senior prom as Billy roars in on his skateboard, clowning around. Carrie passes by and he jeeringly ridicules her. But when she turns a furious glance in his direction, he goes sprawling. Angry and embarrassed, Billy tries to blame his seeming clumsiness on Carrie, but the other guys just laugh.

At the White bungalow, Carrie's mother Margaret works at her sewing machine and sings along to her favorite evangelical radio program ("Open Your Heart Lyrics"). When the still-troubled Carrie arrives home, she reluctantly joins in the hymn. Carrie summons the courage to tell her mother about the day's traumatic event. The realization that her child is now a woman throws Margaret into a God-fearing panic. When Carrie resists, Margaret locks her in a closet to beg for repentance ("And Eve Was Weak Lyrics").

With her parents out of town, Chris throws a party at which she recounts to the kids the details of that day's incident with Carrie in the locker room. When Sue - confused and upset about her role in the hazing - protests that it wasn't funny, Chris perversely instructs her in the natural order of things ("The World According to Chris Lyrics"). Upset by Chris' toxic message, Sue turns her back on her best friend and leaves with Tommy.

Back at the White household, Carrie is still locked in her prayer closet surrounded by religious icons. Margaret, meanwhile, pleads for her own divine guidance. As Carrie puzzles over this new sensation she's been feeling, she grows more agitated. Suddenly, a little figurine of Jesus levitates, leaving Carrie to wonder if this strange power might possibly be coming from within her. Margaret releases her from the closet and tearfully apologizes for her actions, prompting Carrie to beg for forgiveness as well. The two find solace in each other's goodnight embrace ("Evening Prayers Lyrics").

In English class, Mr. Stephens praises a poem Tommy has written, and has him recite his work ("Dreamer in Disguise Lyrics"). When the teacher asks the unruly students for reactions, Carrie volunteers. Her heartfelt emotion only provokes the other kids' mockery. After class, Sue acts on Tommy's advice and tries to apologize to Carrie but, thinking it's some kind of trick, Carrie explodes at her and storms off. Shaken and shocked into awareness, Sue muses on their encounter ("Once You See Lyrics"). Miss Gardner rebukes the girls for their reckless mistreatment of Carrie and demands that they apologize to her - or else. They all do, except for Chris, who instead hurls a vicious invective at Carrie, causing Miss Gardner to suspend Chris (thus banning her from the prom) until after the prom. Frantic, Chris tries to rally the girls to join her in defying their teacher until Sue shouts defiance. Battle lines are drawn; the best friends are now enemies. When Miss Gardner apologizes to the sobbing Carrie for what just happened, Carrie surprises her by insisting that she's got to let Chris go to Prom. Carrie points out that for girls like Chris, Prom is like a dream. When pressed, Carrie admits that she herself is not going. Moved by Carrie's lack of self-esteem and her need for support, Miss Gardner assures her that things can change ("Unsuspecting Hearts Lyrics").

Determined to do right by Carrie, Sue asks Tommy for help with a plan she's devised. Similarly, Chris, blaming Carrie for her humiliation, interrupts a make-out session with Billy to get his help in her plot for revenge ("Do Me A Favor Lyrics"). Alone in the library, Carrie reads about telekinesis from a book. Concentrating intensely, she succeeds in moving chairs across the room without touching them, startling herself with this newfound power. In retrospect, the exploding light bulb in the shower and Billy's tumble from his skateboard start to make sense.

Nervous but honoring Sue's request, Tommy arrives at Carrie's front door and asks her to Prom. Wary, she repeatedly refuses, until Margaret calls her in for dinner. Worried that her mother will find her with Tommy, Carrie hurriedly accepts the offer to be his date. As he leaves, she calls out a joyous "thank you" as it begins to rain. While the storm outside intensifies, Carrie excitedly tells Margaret of her Prom invitation, triggering Margaret's own tortured reverie ("I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance Lyrics"). When she orders Carrie to tell Tommy that she can't go, they battle and, as rain starts to blow in, Margaret walks away to close the windows. "I'll get them!" Carrie shouts and uses her mind to slam them shut. Horrified by this display of power that she's certain is the work of the devil, Margaret cowers in fear as Carrie calmly finishes her dessert.

Act II

Preparations for Prom and the news that Tommy's taking Carrie preoccupy everyone at school, including Chris and Billy, who sneak into the gymnasium with a bucket of pig's blood and set their own nasty prank in place ("A Night We'll Never Forget Lyrics"). Miss Gardner, suspicious of Sue's motives in having Tommy invite Carrie, warns them both that if they hurt Carrie in any way, they'll have to answer to her. Sue worries that Tommy is mad at her too, but insists he's merely disappointed, wanting to take his girlfriend to Prom. To make up for the event they're going to miss, he takes her into the half-decorated gym to share a private romantic moment ("You Shine Lyrics").

It's finally Prom Night. The kids are electric with nervous excitement, and Carrie, no less anxious, resolves to make the most of the evening ("Why Not Me? Lyrics"). Frantic with worry, Margaret tries to undermine Carrie's confidence ("Stay Here Instead Lyrics"). Just then, Tommy arrives, and Carrie, looking ravishing in the gown she's made herself, departs with him. Alone, Margaret struggles with fundamentalist scriptures. "She must be sacrificed. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Her duty - however horrific and tragic - is clear ("When There's No One Lyrics").

At the gym, the psyched kids show off their Prom finery and pose for yearbook photos. Tommy enters with Carrie, and the crowd's reaction to her stunning transformation turns from initially hostile to unexpectedly welcoming. Miss Gardner, surprised and delighted by Carrie's new self-assurance, shares her own recollection of Prom, and teacher and student trade notes on this timeless high school ritual ("Unsuspecting Hearts - Reprise Lyrics"). After much coaxing, Tommy leads a hesitant Carrie onto the dance floor where they're observed - first by Sue, who's felt compelled to sneak in and see how her plan has worked out, and then by Chris' partner-in-crime, Norma ("Dreamer in Disguise - Reprise Lyrics"). Chris and Billy, hidden high in the rafters above, prepare to unleash their prank, as Sue comes upon Norma switching real Prom ballots for fake ones, arousing her suspicions.

Votes tabulated, Mr. Stephens and Miss Gardner announce Tommy and Carrie as Prom King and Queen. While the assembled salute them with the school song ("Alma Mater Lyrics"), Sue spots the bucket dangling above the coronation area, confirming her worst suspicions. Frantic, she tries to warn Miss Gardner, but the teacher, who's been wary of Sue's motives in forgoing her Prom in favor of Carrie, pushes her out of the gym. Chris cues Billy, who yanks the bucket and drenches Carrie in blood. As the Prom-goers' stunned silence turns to derisive laughter, her unimaginable humiliation turns to fury - and then madness. Lashing out with her power, she exacts a terrible revenge on friend and foe alike ("The Destruction Lyrics"). Powerless, Sue watches her classmates all perish. She alone survives. As emergency whistles sound and sirens wail, Sue follows the path of destruction that leads through the street to Carrie's house.

Carrie arrives home in her bloody prom dress and finds momentary solace in her mother's arms ("Carrie - Reprise Lyrics"). Just as she's lulled into a sense of safety, Margaret - fulfilling what she believes to be her biblical duty - plunges a knife into her daughter. Wounded and trying to defend herself from further assault, Carrie uses her powers to stop her mother's heart. Sue stumbles into this horrific scene and, hearing Carrie's anguished cries, rushes to her side to comfort her. But she's too late. As Carrie dies in her arms, the figures from Sue's memory provide a final, haunting testimony of redemption; later, she is arrested as Carrie's accomplice ("Epilogue").

Read more: Carrie Off-Broadway Musical Lyrics
Synopsis Lyrics from Carrie the musical