Evil Dead the Musical: The Review

(originally posted 6/14/2009)

Oh my.  So much blood. So much blood.

This may be the best live theater that I’ve ever seen.  It was certainly the bloodiest.

I loved the movie Evil Dead. It was so campy and fun.  When I saw that my local community theater, the Beck Center in Lakewood, was doing Evil Dead the Musical, I immediately bought tickets.  I’ve had them for almost an entire year.  They weren’t cheap either, I think I paid $32 a ticket (I could get up and look at my tickets but I’m too lazy right now).

It was worth every penny.  I laughed the entire time.

The actors were amazing, they went totally over the top.  If they weren’t brave enough to go for it, the show would’ve sucked.  But they just went for it. It was fantastic.

The songs were silly as could be and the dialogue was insanely funny.  Such bad puns.  The only bad thing was a really inappropriate Jon Benet Ramsey reference.

The lead had to do a scene where his hand turns evil (just like in the movie) and he is fighting his hand.  He is full force throwing himself around the stage, into walls, on the floor.  He did an amazing job. It was hilarious.  And just like in the movie, the lead ends up using a chainsaw for his missing hand.

And the blood.  Just from everywhere.  Spraying everything.  By intermission, one bald guy in the front row had  his whole head was covered in blood.  It was hilarious. And seeing all the women in the bathroom washing blood off of their arms and faces was great.  A few people clearly had no clue what they were in for when they decided to come see this show.  The theater was selling t-shirts in the lobby for only $6.  Many people wore these during the performance.  One lady was clearly on a date, in her hootchie best, trying to get blood off her Coach purse with a scowl on her face.  I wore similar hootchie gear (giant Steve Madden stilettos, jeans, and a tight, low-cut, dressy top) but I brought ponchos (I’m glad I had read reviews and realized to do this).  Even with the ponchos I ended up with blood on the bottom of both legs of my favorite jeans.

There’s nothing I can say about this that would do it justice.  The theater was small and intimate, there was no way you could have a bad seat (unless you were under the one light that was rigged, it was filled with blood and at one point the lead shoots his gun up in the air, it “hits” the rigged light and this huge amount of blood fell down all over a few people).

I think I finally made amends to my husband for the only other live theater that I ever took him to see.  It was truly awful.  I took him to see “Someone to Watch Over Me” at the Cleveland Playhouse 15 years ago.  It was the only live theater he had ever been too.

Someone to Watch Over Me was about hostages.  For most of the play, it was just one man chained to the stage.  The set was plain walls.  The highlight is when two other hostages are kept with him.  Most plays have at least a few set changes or nice costumes so even if the acting is crap or the play is boring, there’s something shiny to distract the audience.  And some sets are so elaborate.  One of the most interesting that I’ve seen was the set used for that opera, Holy Blood and Crescent Moon by Stewart Copeland, the drummer from the Police.  That was a set, and the costumes were amazing.  The opera itself was widely criticized and, at the time, I heard that the music would be revised but I don’t know if it is true.  But it was beautiful to watch even if it was a bore to hear.  Unfortunately, the costumes in Someone to Watch Over Me consisted of distressed clothing.  There was no music.  We were surrounded by people old enough to be our grandparents who were dressed as though they were attending a ball (floor length sequined gowns and tuxes).  And the lead kept saying “fuck” (which at the time was not routinely used in everyday conversation.  Now people say it all the time, it’s mouthed on TV and said endlessly in movies and songs.  But then it was really edgy and uncomfortable).  So, I took my husband to the most boring play ever.  But tonight, tonight, I believe that I have finally redeemed myself by taking him to something fun.

Where else are you going to see a guy with a chainsaw for a hand, using his chainsaw to cut open his girlfriend’s possessed head while singing “Die, die. Die, di-ie-ie” in a dramatic score worthy of any Broadway musical while blood squirts from said head into the audience?  Brilliant.  They had to mop up during the intermission.

I think this show runs for a few more weeks, but I’m pretty sure that it’s sold out.  I would love to see this again.

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