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Oct 26, 2012 - Nov 11, 2012
Evil Dead: The Musical
Book and Lyrics by George Reinblatt
Sponsored by Iles Funeral Homes
DATES: Oct. 26 – Nov. 11, 2012 , calendar
JOIN THE SPLATTER ZONE! A small section of seats will be the designated “splatter zone.” No special prices – first-come, first-splattered! Ponchos will be provided.
Based on Sam Raimi’s 80s cult classic films, EVIL DEAD tells the tale of five college kids who travel to a cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil force. And although it may sound like a horror story, it’s not! The songs are hilariously campy and the show is bursting with more farce than a Monty Python skit. EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL unearths the old familiar story: boy and friends take a weekend getaway at abandoned cabin, boy expects to get lucky, boy unleashes ancient evil spirit, friends turn into Candarian Demons, boy fights until dawn to survive. As musical mayhem descends upon this sleepover in the woods, “camp” takes on a whole new meaning with uproarious numbers like “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons,” “Look Who’s Evil Now” and “Do the Necronomicon.”
“The next Rocky Horror Show!” – The New York Times
“Wickedly campy good time.” – Associated Press
Linda – Lauren Shun
Ash – Ben Ward
Scott – Zander Morales
Cheryl – Bridget Roepke
Shelly/Annie – Claire Ottley
Ed/Moose – Austen Naggatz
Jake – Ben Raanan
Knowby – James Enzler
Swing – Andrea Markowski
Swing – Joshua Ster
Director: Stacy Brothers
Choreographer: David Decker
Music Director: Ben Hagen
Production Stage Manager: Rachael Rhoades
Assistant Stage Managers: Kyle Bochart
Scenic Designer: David Bruce
Scenic Designer: Ron Borstad
Lighting Designer: Shawn Jensen
Costume Designer: Veronica Skaar
Sound Designer: Josh Jepson
Props Designer: Mark Maddy
Blood Specialist: Bryan Doty
Hair/Wig/Make-up Designer: Cindy Hummel
Dramaturge: Kim Fitch
Master Carpenter: Paul Mostrom
Theater review: StageWest’s Evil Dead: The Musical
by Michael Morain, Des Moines Register 10/29/2012
Hmmm. With a show like Evil Dead: The Musical, it’s hard to know where to begin . . .
Maybe with the geysers of fake blood? Or the chainsaw? Or the catchy little dance number called “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons”?
A few hundred words can’t possibly describe the sloppy mess that StageWest opened Friday for a three-week run at the Civic Center’s Stoner Theater – a mess so sloppy that audience members in the designated “splatter zone” were given ponchos to protect themselves from the gore. The show is crass and tasteless and spectacularly dumb.
It’s also a lot of fun.
The story borrows from the 1981 movie The Evil Dead, which spawned a franchise – Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1992) and one more coming next year – and launched the career of director Sam Raimi (the Spider-Man trilogy). But as the gifted local director Stacy Brothers promises in her program notes, you don’t have to belong to the movies’ worldwide cult to enjoy the current production. You don’t even have to like scary movies at all.
All you have to know is that when the characters happily sing “We’re just five college students on our way to an abandoned cabin in the woods,” well, they’re heading for trouble.
The young, energetic cast is led by our hero, named Ash (Ben Ward, who looks like a young Dustin Hoffman). He spends his doomed spring break with his lovely girlfriend (Lauren Shun), prudish sister (Bridget Roepke), libidinous best friend (Zander Morales) and that friend’s bimbo playmate (Claire Ottley).
Would it spoil anything to tell you that four of those five college kids turn into bloodthirsty demons? Probably not.
Along the way they meet the cabin’s scholarly owner (James Enzler), his daughter (Ottley again), her friend (Austen Naggatz) and – not to be overlooked – a pair of spooky animated trees (Andrea Markowski, Josh Ster). They also encounter a backwoods huckster named Jake (the hilarious Ben Raanan), whose self-styled resume rivals the legends of Chuck Norris.
“Who’s the man to count on when your life is at stake? . . . Who was the inspiration for the Shamrock Shake? It’s good old reliable Jake!” Ranaan sings, with Jack Black energy and “Swamp People” charm.
The plot has something to do with an ancient Book of the Dead and its tape-recorded translation, but don’t worry about the details. Logic is overrated. As Jake puts it, “I ain’t got no time for your common sense.”
What isn’t overrated: The musical talents of the cast and the four-piece band led by Ben Hagen. Ward and Shun’s initial love duet sounds much better than anything in a show like this has a right to sound. Ottley pours herself into the aforementioned lament about Candarian demons, and Naggatz milks his number as a “Bit Part Demon” for all its worth.
David Decker’s choreography borrows moves from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the Time Warp from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and, unless I’m mistaken, a little “Gangnam Style.” The spectacle holds nothing back.
There are too many behind-the-scenes contributors to list, but let’s start with the clean-up crew, who will mop up several gallons of blood night after night, and designers David Bruce (sets), Mark Maddy (props), Veronica Skaar (costumes) and Cindy Hummel (hair, wigs, makeup). They each deserve a high five from the hero’s disembodied hand.
Center Stage: Evil Dead goes musical at Stoner Theater
by Amber Williams, Des Moines Cityview 10/31/2012
The story of Candarian demons taking over Stoner Theater just in time for Halloween isn’t quite the zombie apocalypse hardcore horror fans are preparing for by hording canned foods and shot gun ammunition in a makeshift underground cellar, but it’s a start. For the followers of the 1980s cult classic trilogy, little is lost in translation, as Evil Dead: The Musical transforms the dry humor of the three original films into a song-and-dance series that combines the trio of stories into one production.
Anyone who followed the films — Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness — is sure to have certain expectations, and the musical version written by George Reinblatt and directed by Stacy Brothers does not disappoint.
“The Evil Dead series has indeed found its way into the hearts of a select group,” Brothers stated. “For campy horror fans, it’s the perfect mix of the humorous and the horrific.”
The musical version contains elements of all three movies, which takes place primarily in the classic horror story setting: a remote cabin deep in the woods, making the quaint Stoner Theater a perfect stage for this outrageous story depicted by a small cast. The demonic trees begin the show, baiting polite chuckles from a surprisingly age-diverse audience. But silent, shoulder-shaking giggles soon morphed into what sounded more like cackling hyenas long before the booze was kicking in.
If the dialogue among the exaggerated stereotypical characters isn’t amusing enough, the lyrics and performance of all 17 songs on the program are sure to possess even the grimmest audience member with laughter. Dance parts are hysterically choreographed by David M. Decker, drawing viewers into the story with songs like “Bit Part Demon,” “Good Old Reliable Jake” and the debut number “Cabin in the Woods” — all impressively performed by the five main characters: the good guy next door, Ash (Ben Ward); his blonde and big-boobed girlfriend Linda (Lauren Shun); his best friend, play boy Scott (Zander Morales); Scott’s slutty sidekick Cheryl (Bridget Roepke); and the whiney fifth wheel, Ash’s sister Shelly (Claire Ottley). Each showcases exceptional vocal talents in solo, duet and group songs throughout the performance. As the sexy, seductive ladies of the cabin turn one-by-one into evil banshees, the song “What the Fuck Was That,” performed by Ash and Scott, serves as a hilarious climax heading into intermission.
The music, written primarily by Reinblatt, Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond and Melissa Morris, is crucial to setting the mood. The scene music and the songs are uniquely authenticated by the live band consisting of Ben Hagen (keyboard), Dustin Harmsen (bass), Ben Lehl (guitar) and Joel Gettys (drums) veiled by a hunter’s blind just offstage.
True to the original films, Evil Dead: The Musical brilliantly spoofs the horror genre using everything at its disposal, from cheesy props for fake severed hands and heads to the blood spatter zone for the hardcore fans donned in plastic rain ponchos in the front row.
Reinblatt nailed it, penning contemporary additions — to make the dated story current — while still remaining true to the satirical spirit of the original. Evil Dead: The Musical is a hysterical experience for cult followers and fresh meat alike.