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Evil Dead the Musical
Reviewed 09/01/11 by Kiss My Ash
Evil Dead the Musical is a campy, bloody, sticky, mess... and I love it!
I'll admit it, I had been hesitant to attend Evil Dead the Musical partly because I couldn't see how you could turn the Evil Dead movies into a good play and partly because, well, I really dislike musicals.
Thankfully, my eyes have been opened. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this play, musical numbers included!
Fans of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series will recognize the familiar story line of the first two movies with a sprinkling of Ashisms and anecdotes from the Army of Darkness. The uninitiated will undoubtedly still enjoy the story overall but may not get the full humor and depravity of certain scenes like the infamous tree rape or why the phrases, "Hail to the King baby" and "Groovy" elicit so loud and so long a laugh.
Evil Dead the Musical's writer, George Reinblatt, keeps his treatment of Raimi's original horror comedies true yet fun and upbeat, frequently poking fun at them and pointing out plot holes.
It was a pleasure to watch a talented cast that understood the humor of the material so well and who were so completely comfortable with their roles that they made it look effortless and natural. This wasn't the most lavish production I've seen and the theater would certainly qualify as off off Broadway but the cozy surroundings seemed to bond you with the actors and fellow audience members in a special way. It was reminiscent of how many of us first experienced these cult classic movies, piled together in a friend's room, late at night with the lights out, alternating between screams and laughter.
One very special treat of Evil Dead the Musical is the copious amounts of gore dripped, oozed, flung, and blasted into the first two and sometimes three rows of seats, which are appropriately named the "Splatter Zone". Free ponchos are made available for those wanting some protection from the onslaught but everyone in the first two rows, poncho or not, will leave with at least some part of their person sticky and gooey. This is especially true if by intermission the deadite Cheryl has determined you are not bloody enough and decides up close and individual attention is required. Personally, I recommend no poncho and plain white T-shirts so you can wear your newly red shirts home as a badge of honor after the show.
Unfortunately, there are only a few dates left for this run of Evil Dead the Musical at the Campbell Theater so I would purchase tickets as soon as possible. You won't regret seeing it but you will regret missing it.
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