Sunday, November 8, 2009

Evil and Oh So Messy!

“We have a line out the door, so it’s your lucky day!” yelled Bootless Artwork’s Artistic Director Rosanne Dellaversano into the microphone. She encouraged the audience to move from general seating into the “splatter zone” for Evil Dead: The Musical. The zone’s special effects — blood gushing, floating ghost heads, entrails spilling onto the stage and audience members — were riotously funny and well worth the extra dollar for seating. Directed by James Gaspero and music directed by James Fuerst, the sold-out performance was a big hit.

The musical is based on Sam Rami 1980’s cult-classic movie. The movie—“so bad it’s good” (bad acting, bad effects, bad writing, just altogether bad)—is fodder for this hilarious spoof. Minutes into the show, the actors make a mockery of the horror movie genre. All the elements of predictability, stock characters and theme are played to the hilt. The role of the dumb blonde—a staple for the horror genre—is played expertly by Melissa Leigh Elizabeth Baker. “Shelly” provides the audience with plenty of opportunities to yell things like, “No, don’t open that door!” or “He’s right BEHIND you!” As the indestructible protagonist, Ash (played by the deadpan Dan Farrell), weathers demons, evil trees and even saws off his own evil-possessed hand while singing over the buzz of his chainsaw.

After Ash has defeated all his friends who have become demons, the newly evil-possessed Professor Ed played by Brooks Adam Banker, comes at him. With an unused weapon in hand, Ash calmly reminds the audience he has nothing to fear since the man is a “bit-part demon” and would never kill the main actor. This prompts the demonized Ed to break into song, complete with tap dancing and cane. Given the perfect time of year and our culture’s incessant love of camp and gore, Bootless has certainly hit the mark!


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