Showing posts with label The Musical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Musical. Show all posts

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. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Exploring the Excitement and Angst of Turning 13

13, The Musical by Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics) and Dan Elish and Robert Horn (book) is the story of a 12-year-old New York City boy (Evan) who's preparing for his Bar Mitzvah while hisparents are preparing for divorce. Due to the circumstances, Evan and his mother are forced to move to an Indiana suburb. While adjusting to life in a predominately Christian 'burb, he's also trying to make new friends who will attend his Bar Mitzvah. The problem is -- will he settle for only inviting his unpopular new friends or try to impress the cool kids to attend

13, The Musical has a simple story that's been told before, but it's pure FUN with an infectious Top 40 style score. The all-teen cast provides a great opportunity for parents to introduce theater to 'tweens and young teens alike. But, don't worry parents — there are plenty of gags and jokes for both the young and the young at heart to enjoy! 

Director Nick D'Argenio has assembled an extremely talented group of teens — Amanda DeFilippis (Kendra), Branden Fletcher (Richie), Karalyn Joseph (Patrice), Katie Loftus (Cassie), Kyra McKillip (Charlotte), Wyatt McManus (Eddie), Lyndie Moe (Lucy), Nolan Moss (Simon), Gianni Palmarini (Evan), Felipe Rocha (Brett), Will Rotsch (Archie), Evelyn Schiavone (Molly), and Jacob Tracey (Malcolm) — and gives all of them the opportunity to take center stage and shine. 

Palmarini is an exceptional performer who perfectly conveys Evan's conflicted feelings of wanting to fit in with the in-crowd, but yet wanting to remain loyal to his underdog friends (Patrice and Archie). Palmarini is a true triple threat, commanding the stage but never upstaging his fellow cast members. Joseph as Evan's outcast friend Patrice captures the strengths and insecurities of the character. She's working on having a friendship with Evan, but doesn't let down her guard or sacrifice her own convictions in the process. Rotsch as the terminally ill, yet confident underdog, Archie is hysterical, especially during the number "Terminal Illness" when he comically uses his illness to convince Evan's mother to purchase tickets for an R-rated horror movie for the protagonist's popular friends. 

Although the cast has a scaled-down set for its performance, the boisterous choreography by Tommy Fisher-Klein keeps the show flowing. Mr. Fisher-Klein merges current dance steps with flips and other acrobatic moves that delight the audience. With musical direction by Anthony Vitalo, 13, The Musical's infectious score will have you smiling and wishing you were 13 again! 

13, The Musical runs through February 2, at the Wilmington Drama League. Visit or call 302.764.1172 for additional information and tickets.