Hello and welcome to my blog! If you choose to sing my words to the cadence of Baby Got Back in your mind (or out loud) that is your call! Now here’s my scandal…
It was a dark and non-stormy evening in St Louis last night. Cars and geographical landmarks whizzed by as we were late for something that started at 7:30pm or pretty close to that time. We exited the highway and soon approached the Fox Theater…then kept going per the insistence of the GPS lady’s voice. At the next block, we saw The Grandel Theater and turned left. Ah, so this was the destination! With haste, we parked and hurried inside with the time reading 7:40pm. A playbill was offered and some loose props were available to take selfies with but we were ushered inside to our seats. Luckily we had only missed a couple of minutes of the beginning of the play.
Yes you read that right, a play. Kristi had orchestrated a date night out and taken me to a play. But not just any play. This was a loose re-imagining of the 1981 horror-comedy cult classic Evil Dead! For those who enjoy classic horror films in all their cheesy glory, this adaptation should be right up your (dark and bloody) alley. If you have not seen the original or the 2013 remake or any of the sequels or read any of the fan fiction surrounding this piece, you may be a bit lost and feeling like you are missing an inside joke. I state this because during intermission while standing on line for the bar, a lady next to us was claiming that she indeed had never seen the movies. She was there with someone else who brought her and she really wasn’t getting the plot.
First off, as with many 1980’s horror films, plot is a subjective term. Second, shame on whoever brought her to this production without the prerequisite viewing or at least a rough summary of what to expect. I will try to avoid spoilers for those who have not seen the movies and also for those who are still intending to see the play/musical.
After the necessary character introductions and a few musical numbers, the show really starts kicking it into a higher gear. In the original movie, Ashley aka Ash is played by Bruce Campbell so it took me a hot minute to warm to the ‘new’ Ash. But after that toe in the water, the show kicks some seriously funny butt! The writers incorporated so many elements from the movies plus they pay homage in their tunes to Henry Winkler, The Time Warm from Rocky Horror Picture Show and perhaps Gangnam style? Casting and character portrayal of the 1980’s horror movies stereo-types were on point from the get-go. All eight actors did their parts to contribute, but for me Ash’s sister Cheryl stole most of the show. Don’t get me wrong, Ash did his business and did it well but Cheryl with her sadistic pigtail twirling was uproariously funny along with Jake’s song ‘about me’. Many WTF moments along the way including a sequence that parallels a magician pulling the endless scarf from his sleeve but with entrails substituted!
The show was broken up into two acts with a twenty minute or so intermission in between. When you get to your seats be sure to check to see if you are walking on plastic or if your seats are covered in plastic; if so, hopefully you didn’t choose anything ‘too nice’ to wear to the theater because you may be in for a blood bath…literally. The running time from start to finish was about right (near two hours) and most of the musical numbers were entertaining and engaging. I will venture a mini-spoiler or two on top of the entrails blurb above. First off, take inventory of the set. There are lots of little touches and gags for later that really enhance the performance. Secondly, try to listen carefully to the songs as sometimes the music overpowers the singers and the Weird Al like tidbits get lost. Lastly, don’t take the story too seriously, whether you have seen the movies or not. It’s just cheesy, sarcastic, splattery fun!
I’m not sure how much tickets were (financially speaking) as my fiancé purchased them, but it’s technically the theater so I would imagine it’s not cheap. But based on the venue, it probably would not cost you both hands but maybe just one! OK I will leave the puns and jokes to the cast of Evil Dead: The Musical. They do very well in this department. If you are in the STL through October 22, 2017 go check them out. If not, check the links below to see where they are going next (far from the STL).
According to their website, the production has its origins starting back in August 2003 and has done over 200 shows worldwide. They bring a shotgun and a chain saw to the table every time! What better way to celebrate all the upcoming holidays? At the center of the story is an important book and they stress reading so it has one of the core family values right there! Stock up on your ammunition at the S-Mart and get ready to laugh until dawn…if you make it that long!
Happy Hump Day.