ZOMBIE BEACH: THE MUSICAL Will Premiere at HCC Ybor City

Zombie Beach:  The Musical runs Thursday to Saturday, March 30 – April 8 at 7:30, plus Saturday matinees at 2:00 April 1 and 8.

By: Mar. 17, 2023
ZOMBIE BEACH: THE MUSICAL Will Premiere at HCC Ybor City

The Hillsborough Community College Theater Department and LAB Theater Project co-present the new stage show, Zombie Beach: The Musical, with a book by Tampa Bay native John Cecil, and music and lyrics by Cecil and Laura Rebel-Angel. Set in the 1960s, this show brings together beach movies, rock & roll, and zombies, in a story about the love of the living and the hunger of the dead.

New York-based playwright John Cecil grew up in the Tampa Bay area and proudly claims to be a product of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts theater program. He has had numerous plays, screenplays and a sitcom pilot produced in New York. Musician, vocalist and DJ Laura Rebel-Angel, of the Brooklyn-based roots band Screaming Rebel Angels, joined with Cecil to compose music and lyrics for the show. Zombie Beach is directed by Suzy Devore, head of the HCC Theater Department and noted actor and director. The music direction is by Miles Randolph, last seen locally as music director for LAB Theater Project's show, It Started with a Kiss.

About the play:

In a little-known Southern California beach town, a group of teenagers head straight for the beach as soon as school ends for summer vacation. Of course, the beach is named after a famous horror movie creator, which should have been a clue for these clueless teens! This mashup musical brings together everyone's favorite elements from the pop movies of the '60s: boy gets girl, boy gets the Queen of the Undead (oops), girl does not take that lying down in the sun. Plus rock & roll songs, dance numbers (human and zombie!) and blood -- lots of blood!

"I love the concept of combining a sixties style musical with the zombies from the film world," says Suzy Devore, the director. "It is a love story, and who doesn't love a great romance! I'm thrilled to direct and co-produce this world premier, and bring Hillsborough Community College Theater Department and Lab Theater Project together."

This show appeals to kids from all ages. As John Cecil, the playwright, says, "this is a love letter to the pop culture of the 1960s." Plus, he admits he always wanted to see Annette Funicello in a fight with Vampira, so now he's created his own. And, as Devore says, "It's a toe tapping, bloody good time!"

This co-production between LAB and HCC is structured as an opportunity to give HCC theater students the experience of working in a professional production. Some roles are cast with professional actors, and the production team is drawn from some of the most seasoned experts in the region. Along with Devore and Randolph, the choreographer is Heather Cole, the set design is by LAB's founding producer Own Robertson, lights designed by Wayne Linderman, costumes by Lindsay Ellis, and sound by Aimee Sallee. Mike Martin (guitar) and Sid Wright (drums) are joining Miles Randolph (keyboard) in the show's band.

This is the second original musical LAB Theater Project has staged, but, according to Robertson, who is also Zombie Beach's producer, the size and scale of this one made it ideal for a collaboration that would give HCC students experience working with local professionals. LAB, which was founded in 2015 as a professional company dedicated to a "playwright first" vision and bringing new works to life, has produced over 40 new works from local, national, and even international writers. In addition, LAB's mission includes the growth and development of new theater artists in the community, which places the current production squarely in the center of the company's 8-year tradition. Roberson is also an Adjunct Professor at HCC. For more information about LAB Theater Project, visit LABTheaterProject.com.

Hillsborough Community College serves more than 42,000 students at its five campuses throughout Tampa Bay. The Performing Arts Department offers associate degrees and university-level training in Theater, Dance, and Music. The Theater Department has been led by Assistant Professor Suzy Devore since 2014. Devore has produced and directed over 25 productions there, including theatrical classics and new works. Her dedication to teaching new theater artists and working in all genres has allowed students to go on to well-recognized four-year schools and also directly into the professional market. This is the first full-length musical that the department has had the resources to produce, thanks to the collaboration with LAB Theater Project, and it is a tremendous experience for the department and the students. For more information, visit www.hccfl.edu/theater.

Zombie Beach: The Musical runs Thursday to Saturday, March 30 - April 8 at 7:30, plus Saturday matinees at 2:00 April 1 and 8, in the Mainstage Theater at the HCC Ybor City campus. The theater is located in the Performing Arts Building at 1411 E. 11th Ave, in Tampa. General admission tickets are $20, through www.labtheaterproject.com. Admission is free for HCC students, faculty and staff with valid ID, through www.hccfl.edu/theatre.

RELATED STORIES - Tampa/St. Petersburg

Review: Tampa Repertory Theatres Riveting Production of Arthur Millers ALL MY SONS Photo
Review: Tampa Repertory Theatre's Riveting Production of Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS

Led by a top-tiered cast, Tampa Rep’s ALL MY SONS finally gives us the production that this tremendous script deserves!

Review: A Beautiful Vision of How the Classic Tale of Oz Came to Be With OZ: A NEW MUSICAL Photo
Review: A Beautiful Vision of How the Classic Tale of Oz Came to Be With OZ: A NEW MUSICAL at FreeFall Theatre Company

Oz: A New Musical, is an original musical exploring the genius of L. Frank Baum and his complicated relationship with his most famous creation, the Land of Oz. This is the story of a dreamer at the dawn of a new age who reinvented the fairy tale in a distinctly American way, painting an idealized and magical vision of a world where witches might be good, and what you’re seeking is already inside you.

Review: ALL MY SONS at TampaRep Photo
Review: ALL MY SONS at TampaRep

Arthur Miller's subliminal masterpiece in a Three-Act structure All My Sons is what Miller considered his last-ditch effort at writing a commercially successful play. You see Miller's first play The Man Who Had All the Luck failed miserably on Broadway lasting a total of four performances. Miller considered throwing in the towel prior to writing All My Sons.

Review: Rodgers & Hammersteins THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Carrollwood Players Photo
Review: Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Carrollwood Players

The von Trapp children will melt your heart!

More Hot Stories For You


#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Lessons for an incomplete black boy
The Fringe Theatre (6/23-6/25)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Prom
MAD Theatre of Tampa (7/14-7/22)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Monty Python's Spamalot
Carrollwood Cultural Center (7/21-7/30)CAST
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Comedy of Tenors
Florida Studio Theatre (8/02-8/20)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Lizzie: The Musical
Straz Center for the Performing Arts (7/12-8/06)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Sound of Music
Carrollwood Players Theatre (6/02-6/24)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# All My Sons by Arthur Miller
USF Theatre Centre TAR 120 (6/01-6/18)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Straz Center for the Performing Arts (8/16-8/27)
#repshow# in #getregions.name[i]# The Great American Trailer Park Muscial
Stageworks Theatre (6/09-6/25)

Recommended For You