BWW Review: EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL at Prohibition Hall
I am a big fan of campy rock musicals and what's not to like with EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL. Hilarious, wonderful music, appropriate scenery, fabulous talent, and a talking moose. Throw in a half dozen zombies and you have the makings of a wonderful night at the theater. That's what Padgett Productions delivers with EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL which opened Friday, June 7 and runs through June 22 at Prohibition Hall in Kansas City. The outrageous musical comedy written by playwright and lyricist George Reinblatt features music composed by Reinblatt, Christopher Bond, Frank Cipolla, and Melissa Morris.
The Canadian rock musical adaption of the film series EVIL DEAD was originally written for a musical theater class at Queens University and was performed in Kingston, Ontario. In August of 2003, the musical was staged as a workshop in Toronto. Gaining instant success, the play opened at the New World Stages off-Broadway in 2006. Padgett Productions produced the successful run of the play in 2018 at Prohibition Hall and again this year. Nick Padgett, Producer, Director, and Choreographer said before the start of Act 1 that the musical will return in 2020.
Five college students accidentally unleash an evil terror while spending a weekend at a cabin in the woods. The comedic musical based on the 1980 franchise has demons and the show's characters singing and dancing to tunes such as "Cabin in the Woods", "Look Who's Evil Now", and "Do the Necronomicon". Remember zombie lives splatter, oh yes, there will be the splattering of blood.
The entire cast brings an electricity to the theater that begins with the opening song and lasts till the final curtain call. Alec Bridges is excellent as the hero of the tale of zombies and the cabin in the woods. This is the second Padgett production Bridges has appeared in. He is currently a student at the University of Central Missouri pursuing a degree in Theatre Education.
This is the third appearance for Chelsea Anglemyer in EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL. She appeared in last year's production at Prohibition Hall and previously in an Egads! Theatre production. Chelsea portrays Shelly and brings an abundance of talent to the stage. Whether singing, dancing, spurting blood all over the audience, or as the girl with a brain smaller than that of the talking moose she always delivers a fantastic performance.
Goettling gives a remarkable performance as Cheryl, Ash's sister. It is both exhausting and exhilarating watching her after she turns into a Candarian Demon and continues to badger Ash and the others to join her. recently appeared as Lisa in Padgett Productions staging of MAMMA MIA. She previously appeared in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, GRANDMA MARTHA, AND YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU.
Elise Campagna appears as Linda, T. J. Warren as Scott, Justin Moss as the talking moose, Brandon Davis (Olsen) as Ed, and Jill Smith as Annie all give superb performances. Jeffrey Bostwick and David Harris are the stagehands and bring an extra dose of laughter to the show.
EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL continues at Prohibition Hall through June 22. Purchase tickets online at www.evildeadlive.com.
Photos by Chuck Mason