Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Fest of Gore, Splatter and Camp with Bootless' Evil Dead, The Musical

By Guest Blogger, Ken Grant
Ken Grant has worked in Delaware media, politics and marketing for 25 years. He and his Lovely Bride enjoy Wilmington's arts and culture scene as much as they can.

Bootless Stageworks production of Evil Dead, The Musical.
Photo by Kent Grant.
You know you're in for a fun theatrical experience when the orchestra is dressed in t-shirts and stage hands have mops at the ready to clear the stage and front row of the splatter and gore sprayed, flung and cascaded over the audience.

And with cheesy grins, knowing winks and truly horrifying puns (as if there's any other kind), the cast and crew of Bootless Stageworks provide that with Evil Dead, The Musical.

From the peppy and poppy opening song "Cabin in the Woods" where our band of happy campers are heading to their Spring Break getaway to the triumphant finale of "Blew That Bitch Away" where our hero is figuratively carried around by customers and fellow employees at the local box superstore, Evil Dead, The Musical entertains and engages the audience.

You need not be familiar with the original 1981 cult classic Evil Dead or the franchise in order to follow and enjoy Evil Dead, The Musical --- but if you're a fan, your heart should jump at some of the iconic poses and lines in this production.

The cast of Evil Dead, The Musical. Photo by Kent Grant.
The plot is your basic "friends go camping, discover book that unleashes evil, fight evil and create much blood and gore in the process" story. For anyone who has seen a trailer for any movie featuring young people, camping and a scream, there is no such thing as a "spoiler" in describing this play --- and the writers capitalize on that from the beginning with lines like, "We're five young people headed to a deserted old cabin in the woods... what could possibly go wrong?"

Ryan PJ Mulholland does a great job of channeling Bruce Campbell as Ash, the hero who knows how to handle just about any weirdness that comes his way. Justin Walsh takes the best friend role of Scott to new levels during in his duet with Mulholland "What the F*** was That?"

The dialog, singing, dancing and splattering is all handled deftly by the talented cast. The special effects put together by John and Roseanne DellAversano are impressive and fun to watch. Music Director James Fuerst increases the energy on stage and adds elements to the show that no pre-recorded music could offer.

Just in case the title, descriptions of gore and song titles haven't conveyed the message yet, this is not a show for children nor for those who find themselves offended by salty language.

Evil Dead, The Musical runs July 17 and 18 at Bootless Stageworks theater located in The Annex @ St. Stevens, 1301 Broom Street in Wilmington. 


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