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Carrie the Musical launches new Spokane theater group | Arts & Culture

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Carrie the Musical launches new Spokane theater group
Carrie the Musical launches new Spokane theater group

Carrie the Musical is known as the biggest flop in Broadway history, but after a successful off-Broadway revival in 2012 it’s making a comeback. Lilac City Performing Arts will bring Carrie to the Bing on Wednesday and the new group hopes this inaugural show will be the start of much more.


Justin Schlabach heard the soundtrack for Carrie the Musical for the first time last December and felt an instant connection with the music and story.


“I was listening to it and just fell in love with it,” said Schlabach. “The music was absolutely beautiful.”

Schlabach and his friends wanted to produce the play in Spokane, and decided to start their own theater. Lilac City Performing Arts was formed in June and on Wednesday they’ll bring Carrie to life for their first show. Schlabach has taken on the role of Artistic Director of the infant theater and as Director of Carrie.


“I felt there was an opening in Spokane,” said Schlabach, who graduated with a B.A. in Theater from Eastern Washington University in June. He thinks there’s space for another theater and that Spokane is ready to see plays that are new and different and that spark a conversation.


The group has been fundraising all summer with yard sales, a cabaret show, a dance social and a campaign on indiegogo.com. They’ve also received generous donations from Chaps, where Schlabach works as a server, and from New Edge. Luxe Coffee offered the group a  steeply discounted rate so that they could rehearse Carrie in their ballroom.  


“I’m really looking forward to what to seeing what the audience has to say about it,” said Schlabach.


While Carrie the Musical is a bold and unique choice for a first production, Schlabach said that Spokane can expect to see more unusual and thought provoking productions from them in the future.


“These bold things are the ones that cause the conversation to happen,” said Schlabach. “Things don’t happen with wishy washy, things don’t change.”


With Carrie, Lilac Performing Arts wants to start a conversation about bullying. They’re even getting a jump start on the conversation by asking questions about the subject on their Facebook page and encouraging their fans to share their thoughts and experiences. In March, the group will produce Tape, a play that not only tackles date rape, but also looks at forgiveness and the role we play in each other’s lives.


“If these things are in the light and we know about them then they’re less likely to survive,” said Schlabach.

Carrie the Musical and the Lilac City Performing Arts will debut on Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the Bing Crosby Theater with a second performance on Thursday. Tickets are $25 and available at the door or at ticketswest.com.

For more information on Lilac City Performing Arts visit their Facebook page.

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