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Riverdale's Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says the show's musical episode was a "rite of passage"

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Apr 18, 2018

Over the course of its two seasons, Riverdale has already broken a lot of exciting new ground with the stories it's chosen to emulate, evoke or otherwise pay tribute to. From paying tribute to the late father of horror Wes Craven to taking a page from the infamous Zodiac killer with the appearance of Riverdale's "Black Hood," the references and in-jokes for genre and film buffs alike are plentiful.

Now, the show is tackling the realm of both horror and musicals with tonight's episode. "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember" will bring Riverdale High's version of Carrie: The Musical to life, starring some of our favorite characters—like Betty, Veronica and Archie, as well as Cheryl herself in the titular part and Jughead taking a behind-the-scenes role as documentary filmmaker.

Speaking to VarietyRiverdale EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said that a musical episode felt like a natural next step. "Even though they get involved in crime and stuff, [they] are still high school kids — and high school kids do musicals every year. So it feels like, on a show with high school kids, it’s easy to get to [a story where] we’re doing a musical. It’s one of the kind of classic coming-of-age rites of passage."

One particular item of note is that, in Riverdale's musical episode, the singing won't just happen on stage. In other words: expect tonight's ep to resemble something from Glee, or Buffy, where characters sing as a way to express their feelings. "We realized early on that going into the musical a lot of our [characters] were not on very friendly terms — there was a lot of tension between them — and one of the things that often happens in musicals is that people work out their emotional problems through song," Aguirre-Sacasa said.

In terms of coming up with which musical for Riverdale High to put on, Aguirre-Sacasa admitted that Carrie proved to be the perfect choice after other options like Sweeney Todd and Little Shop of Horrors were ruled out early on: "Carrie felt right because it was a little less well-known, it was a little more off-kilter the way Riverdale is, and it was about high school kids — the way Riverdale is — dealing with dark themes."

You can read the interview with Aguirre-Sacasa in full over at Variety, and don't forget to watch "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night to Remember" when Riverdale airs on the CW tonight at 8/7c.