Get your vocal chords all warmed up, River Vixens! Riverdale is about to air its musical episode extravaganza. Show tunes might not be your thing, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the thrilling ride. Riverdale is known for keeping things creatively interesting — the show's a teen drama/mystery/noir/sometimes comedy all rolled in one addictive package. So, it wasn't surprising when The CW announced it was going to shake things up by introducing more songs into the mix. The gang will be performing from Carrie: The Musical, but what's Carrie about? If the iconic phrase "they're all gonna laugh at you" means nothing, you should probably get schooled on its history prior to Wednesday night's big show.
1. Carrie is a Stephen King novel
Horror master Stephen King published the novel Carrie in 1974. Spoilers ahead if you don't know what happens in the book and its subsequent adaptations. The book revolves around an unpopular high school student who is tormented by her unrelenting bullying classmates and her unstable fanatical Christian mother. Carrie discovers she possesses telekinetic powers and ultimately decides to use them in acts of revenge following a prom incident that leaves her mortified (pig's blood, anyone?). Chaos and destruction ensues. It's like Mean Girls, if Mean Girls went horribly awry and got gruesome and super dark.
2. It became a critically acclaimed film
The legendary cinematic adaptation was released in 1976 directed by Brian De Palma, starring young Sissy Spacek in the title role. The film earned two Academy Award nominations and is regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time. Even if you haven't seen it, it's pretty likely you've caught a look at parodies or images that reference a horrified Carrie being doused in pig's blood in front of the entire school.
3. The musical came out in the '80s
What better way than to honor the classic than to turn it into a stage production full of melodies you can sing along to? Enter Carrie: The Musical, which hit Broadway in 1988 after it was workshopped and performed in the UK. Unfortunately it closed shortly after and was considered an expensive flop, although its earned somewhat of a cult following over the years since failing spectacularly. The production was revived in 2012 Off-Broadway and in 2015 Off-West End.
4. It's the perfect fit for Riverdale
Did you think this crew would perform Cats? Riverdale is known for its camp horror leanings, so an offbeat (and critically panned) cult classic just makes sense. “Because Riverdale is a bit darker and is a little bit off-kilter and subversive, when we talked about doing a musical episode we talked about doing a darker, more genre musical,” executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has explained of the choice. “It felt as though the songwriters had written songs for the same set of characters."
Riverdale already incorporates musical numbers somewhat seamlessly into its narrative (see: Josie and the Pussycats) — the risk-taking show isn't exactly covering new artistic ground. Plus, the titular Carrie role is now widely considered a redhead thanks to Spacek, and we all know Riverdale has its very own notorious fiery-haired vixen with a knack for singing...
5. The musical numbers are seriously catchy
The CW already went ahead and released two music videos from the upcoming event, "In" and "A Night We'll Never Forget," that are sure to get you pumped for the theatrical magic to come. Sadly, Jughead isn't involved with the singing and dancing aspect of the episode, but I think fans will forgive him given his broody character.
Prepare for a night you'll never forget. Riverdale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.