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Evil Dead: The Musical Draws Blood For Six More Weeks

I'm definitely not a musicals person. But when you add in things like splattering fake blood, demons from hell and snappy one-liners, I'm sold.

Evil Dead: the Musical has just announced an extended run until Aug. 4 at the Diesel Playhouse (56 Blue Jays Way). Let the chainsaw-roaring begin.

Based on Sam Raimi's 80s cult-classic horror films, Evil Dead: the Musical, unearths the old familiar story: boy and friends take a weekend getaway at abandoned cabin, boy expects to get lucky, boy unleashes ancient evil spirit, friends turn into Candarian Demons, boy fights until dawn to survive.

Jack's previous post gives a lot of insight on the background of the play, but I wanted to talk about the anti-theatre theatregoer's perte de vue. I saw this play at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal a few years ago to a near-vacant bar in the city's east end. Juxtaposed with the crowd at last Friday's show in Toronto, we definitely have more fanatics here (I think I saw one guy with a cardboard chainsaw hand).

As musical mayhem descends upon this sleepover in the woods, "camp" takes on a whole new meaning with uproarious numbers like "All the Men in my Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons," "Look Who's Evil Now" and "Do the Necronomicon," a combination of Thriller meets the synchronized McDonald's dance scene in Mac n' Me...but with more rotting flesh.

While most of the performance is upbeat in the Grease sort of way, there are definite dark moments keeping more with the audience participation vibe of Rocky Horror. The acting and singing is dramatic but with the occasional sexual innuendo and F-word thrown in for good measure, it makes the people not used to the theatre (but into campy horror flicks) much more at home. The "possessed" stagescape is also a nice touch complete with every taxidermist's nightmare -- a demonized stuffed beaver and moose taunting our hero.

I would love to watch a follow-up Army of Darkness musical. The part when he to choose the "correct" Necronomicon would be awesome to see. Or maybe Romero could help produce an onstage version of Dawn of the Dead, complete with helicopter choppin'.

But everyone was waiting for when the "splatter zone" would get theirs. And aside from a few sprays here and there, I thought, Is that it? Oh, no. Those who sit in the first two rows exit the place looking like they've committed murder. I saw a group of guys piling into their parents' car outside the theatre and wondered if the fuzz was going to pull them over.

If you get a chance to see this, I highly recommend you do. It's a fun way of raising the dead and bringing it onto the stage. Hail to the king, baby


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