GORHAM, Maine — Just in time for Halloween weekend, “Carrie” is back.

The Stephen King horror novel from the ’70s hits the University of Southern Maine stage in November set to pop-rock. “CARRIE, the musical” makes its Maine debut Nov. 1-3.

King’s first book tells the tale of a sheltered high school teen with special powers. It opened on Broadway in 1988 and was roundly panned.

“It was one of the biggest Broadway flops ever,” said Ed Reichert, USM’s musical theater vocal coach, who is directing the performance.

With music by Michael Gore, lyrics by Dean Pitchford and book by Lawrence Cohen, it became an instant cult classic after a brief run.

“They got caught up in the special effects, the burning down of the gym and cafeteria,” said Reichert. “It was a multimillion dollar fiasco.”

Since then, the musical has been revamped, updated and shown off-Broadway. When the rights became available less than a year ago, Reichert pounced.

“I knew it would be a good match for the talent that we have right now for musical theater majors,” he said.

And the new bare-bones, stripped-down version is perfect for the intimate 182-seat Corthell Concert Hall, he said.

“People who know the story and like the novel, people who are Stephen King fans, can all come out Halloween weekend and see our little musical in Gorham, Maine,” said Reichert.

Kellie Moody, a USM senior from Caribou, will be the music director.

“The kids are excited because it’s so accessible. They are playing characters their own age and it’s set to pop-rock mostly,” said Reichert.

This is a busy season for King. The remake of the movie “Carrie” is being released by Sony Pictures in October; CBS’ “ Under the Dome” series, based on King’s 2009 science-fiction novel, is a smash; and “ Doctor Sleep,” the sequel to “The Shining,” comes out next month.

Tickets for “CARRIE, the musical” are $15 and can be purchased by calling 780-5555 or visiting http://usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice. The show runs Nov. 1-3 at Corthell Concert Hall, University of Southern Maine, 37 College Ave., Gorham.

Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.