Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Evil Dead: The Musical

The past few weeks I've been running around town, trying to squeeze in all my last-minute Manhattan to-dos. The other week, I was eating beet salad and a mushroom tart off Butter's Restaurant Week prix fixe, last Saturday I was watching Ennio Morricone's first U.S. concert at Radio City Music Hall, but just this past Sunday, my boyfriend, Paul, and I got the random urge to buy tickets to a show we've been thinking about for months: Evil Dead: The Musical. Also, we just realized it closes (at least, temporarily) in 2 weeks, so we made it in the nick of time.

It is HILARIOUS. I had just watched the first "Evil Dead" and some clips from "Evil Dead 2" on YouTube (I confess), but from this limited exposure, I managed to keep up with the cult-fanatic section of the audience screaming out "It's my Boomstick!" in unison with Ash (Bruce Campbell's character). I also loved how the cast managed to spoof the movies, claiming they were going out into the woods alone, "just as their mother always advised them too" (and more - but I don't want to give everything away).

The score is by far the best and funniest part. They sang about working at S-Mart, demons killing "all the men" in my life, "even platonic gay friends", and my favorite, "Do the Necronomicon". A posse of zombies holds nothing back in this heavily choreographed number, with moves straight from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video while poking fun at their inferiority to The Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Time Warp".

My one small complaint is that two castmembers by far stole the show: Jenna Coker, as Ash's younger sister Cheryl, was dead-on in everything she did. Her over-the-topness was exactly right, and she consistently related to the audience, letting us in on her spoofs. As a kid sis and as a demon, her comic timing was perfect as was her highly demanding physical humor. Additionally, Ryan Ward's Ash, was hilarious. I loved his earnestness, and he is a dead ringer for Bruce Campbell. The hysterical script and score brings the other castmembers up to their level, but the audience had clear favorites. I am extremely glad I got to see this show before I leave New York (or it does).

If you've got a free night by February 17th, and an extra $60.00 (SO cheap for a Broadway show), I would highly recommend getting yourself to the New World Stages Theatre immediately and seeing this show!

Oh, and one more word of caution: Stay away from the "Splatter Zone". "Splatter" is the understatement of the century!

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