A Portland Playwright’s Remake of “The Scarlet Letter” Has the Same Amount of Puritan Shame, More Catchy Songs Than the Original
Scarlet is an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter in a very loose sense. For one, it’s a musical. In one early scene, Hester Prynne (Rebecca Teran) and the Rev. Arthur Dimmsdale (Isaac Lamb) sing a duet about their secret passion for one another called “Fallen for You.” Later, they lie in bed together and crack jokes about the Bible. Written and composed by Portlander Michelle Horgen, Scarlet is now getting its world premiere at Portland Playhouse’s newly renovated theater. The musical is packed with revisionist flourishes, from a rambunctious drinking song called “Before You Fall (for a Puritan Girl)” to a sympathetic solo by Hester’s villainous husband, Roger Chillingsworth (Darius Pierce).