How did Profondo Rosso il Musical fly entirely under my radar? I mean, it’s not as though I would have flown to Italy to see it, but I can’t believe I had no idea it even existed until a few days ago.
I would not have suggested Deep Red, but lo and behold, it was Profondo Rosso il Musical that premiered on January 21, 2008, at the Teatro Civico in Vercelli , a Northern Italian town best known for its lavish annual carnivale. The show went on to play dates in Varese, Sassari, Novara, Castiglione, Savona, Lugano, Venaria and Assisi before winding up in Milan’s Teatro Smeraldo five months later, hard on the heels of Hair.
Conspicuous by its absence was any mention of Carrie (1988), easily the closest precedent — a serious work of dramatic musical theater based on an acclaimed horror movie. But of course, it was also a disaster of legendary proportions (you can see a clips — including the climactic horror-at-the-prom scene on youtube — though the video quality is pretty poor, the train-wreck appeal is off the scale.
Profondo Rosso il Musical starred Italian-French actor/singer Michel Altieri — one of those European sensations who never cracked the US market — in Hemmings’ role.
The musical included all the film’s main characters — doomed psychic Helga Ulmann (Claudia Donadoni); ballsy reporter Gianna Brezzi (Silvia Specchio, in the role originated by Daria Nicolodi); Mark’s fragile friend Carlo (Alberto Pistacchia) and his possessive mother (Maria Maddalena Trani); unfortunate writer Amanda Righetti (Alessandra Azimonti) and poor Professor Giordani (Claudio Lobbia), whose big death scene is hijacked by a mechanical doll — along with dancers and a trio of mysterious figures in masks.
To be honest, it sounds like a total disaster, and I haven’t been able to track down anything that suggests otherwise. But oh, what I wouldn’t give to have seen it!