Evil Dead: The Musical
Evil Dead: The Musical
Book and Lyric by George Reinblatt
Music by Frank Cipolla, Christopher Bond, Mellissa Morris, and George Reinblatt
Directed by Steve MacKinnon
Starring George Zepf, Shannon Bilo-Zepf, Leontyne Carter, and Joshua Eads-Brown
Theatre Downtown, Orlando, FL</strong>
I’ll skip the obligatory “what could go wrong?” line and tell you this- wear old clothes if you’re sitting in the seats on the wall where you enter, and nothing serious will get stuck on you. Meanwhile, let’s join these five teens as they head up to the old abandoned cabin infested with borer beetles, beavers and Canderian demons. Ash (Zepf) is the calm headed one; he survives way longer than he should and gets to cut the head off his girl friend Linda (Bilo-Zepf). Scott (Adam DelMedico) spends the first act fondling Shelly’s (Genna Paige Kanago) behind and pointing out how much more action he’s getting than the others. We know that the teens having the most sex must die first, but that honor goes to unattached Cheryl (Carter.) Once she’s infected with demon spawn of the Necronomicon, all her acting occurs under the floor boards and through a trap door. I’m guessing she’s the symbolic hoo-hah about spanning this world and the demon planet, but I know this – the lighting effects were cool.
There’s some pee you pants funny stuff here, starting with opening number “Cabin In The Woods” sung from a car last used in “Grease.” Josh Eads-Brown appears in a scary three day beard as the kindly Redneck guide Good Old Reliable Jake, and there’s even a talking moose. Professor Annie (Jillian Gizzi) tries to fend off the demons, and when she fails she pours out her heart and arteries by singing “All The Men In My Life Keep Getting Killed.” Zepf is manically gleeful as he cuts off his hand and a few possessed heads while declaiming “It’s not as bad as it looks” with blood dripping off his shirt. Jake fires back: “How the hell can this NOT be as bad as it looks?” Its comedy gold.
Directorial duties are widely shared here; Steve MacKinnon who is better known for his musical work gets the top credit with Spenser Crosswell claiming musical direction and Amanda Warren choreography. Frank Hilgenberg and Tim DeBaun each did some direction as well, so this looks like a real team effort. The dialog rocks, the music campy and bubbly, and the comedic timing razor sharp. All that’s missing is a full kick line at the end and a hose down for the audience and crew. Even if you hate gore and horror, you’ll love this fearsome production.