| Recently, I attended a showing of Evil Dead: The Musical in Kansas City and had the time of my life, and you will too! The end.
But seriously, real review time.
I met the Egads Theatre Company at Kc Crypticon the weekend of August 25 and found out that they were putting on a production of Evil Dead: The Musical and I told them right then and there "I will be attending this, and I will be seated in the Splatter Zone." Quite a bold statement, I should say. For those of you who don't know, The Splatter Zone is the area of the audience in which audience members have the best chance of being doused in gallons of fake blood throughout the course of the play. This is where I was choosing to sit. I live for that kind of thing.
The time came to get tickets for the show and I requested my seats be in The Splatter Zone. I was assured that I would have some of the best seats in the house. Boy were they right about that.
The night of the play, I got dressed up in my best "can be thrown away if necessary" pants and a brand new white t-shirt and headed out to The Off-Center Theater at Crown Center. We got to the theater and were seated in "the best seats in the house"...directly in the middle of the stage and less than 6 inches from the stage in The Splatter Zone. I was already smiling by this point and the show hadn't even started!
As we are seated, I see a large sign above the stage that reads "Evil Dead: The Musical". Shortly thereafter, cast member Ethan Miller comes out on stage and informs the audience of the fully immersing experience that the night will bring. I would tell you what he says, but I don't tolerate spoilers, so I will not spoil as well.
The lights go down and the sign turns around to reveal the Necronomicon aka The Book Of The Dead, and just then I get anxious for the fun that is about to ensue. At this point, I should probably mention that I am a huge fan of the Evil Dead series and have been looking forward to seeing Evil Dead: The Musical since I missed it last year.
Things get underway and right away the play tells you that you are in for a campy romp into a play that both pays homage to the original film series that it is based on and pokes fun at it. It is also here that you are introduced to the cast of characters. Cheryl played by Chioma Anyanwu, Shelly played by Katie Karel, Linda played by Aurelie Roque, Scott played by Noah Whitmore, and the hero of the story, Ash played by Samn Wright. After this introduction, you will be singing "Cabin In The Woods" to yourself at work for the next week...trust me, it will happen.
As the story continues, we are introduced to a few more characters along the way, Ed played by Ethan Miller, Annie played as a dual role by Katie Karel, and Jake played by Dana Joel Nicholson.
Now, I am not going to get into how the songs were, because they were great. I would rather focus this review on the performances of the cast. As a whole, the cast was amazing and drew me into the play from start to finish. However, some characters stood out to me. Noah Whitmore as Scott showed great comedic timing with the material. Chioma Anyanwu as Cheryl threw herself into a very physical performance and actually made me jump a few times as the Deadite version of Cheryl. (I even expressed my concern for her potentially injuring herself after the show.) Dana Joel Nicholson's performance as Jake had me laughing every time he was on stage. I should also mention that he took my by surprise with his singing voice! I was not expecting the voice that came out when he started singing "Good Ol' Reliable Jake". And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the lead, Samn Wright playing Ash. If you ask me, they couldn't have found a better guy to portray the character made famous by the great Bruce Campbell. He even resembles Bruce with slightly less chin.
Now back to The Splatter Zone. If you come to this play expecting to just watch it, you are sadly mistaken and probably shouldn't be there. The blood starts off slow and increases to an almost overwhelming amount of the red stuff being thrown about with reckless abandon towards the end. Make no mistake, if you are close to the stage at all, you WILL get some red on you.
If you are looking for a great time to be had with a group of even just a significant other, Evil Dead: The Musical is the play for you.
Evil Dead: The Musical is playing now through November 4th, 2011 at The Off Center Theater at Crown Center.
For more details, check out EvilDeadKc.com
Matt Brown, Slugcast