There is no denying the long-standing appeal of director Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Evil Dead movies. Even more than twenty years after the last movie, fans have seen countless video games, comic books, toys, and even a 2013 remake of the original film. Another thing fans were treated to was the Canadian-created Evil Dead: The Musical, a rocking send up of the franchise’s first two chapters.
DSR Productions brought the critically-acclaimed show to Vancouver in 2009, which was met with, well, critical acclaim. Director Mark Carter was often asked by fans about bringing the show back again. Now five years later, the production returns with nearly the entire original cast and crew behind it. When asked about what we could expect differently this time around, Carter said: “We’re bigger and better this time! We’ve added a lot more music, more underscoring that we didn’t have in the original. Also, we have a ton of new moving lights. It’s a real rock’n’roll show now.”
What is it about Evil Dead: The Musical that appeals to Cater? “It’s just a lot of fun! It really is! The show itself and even the movies are a little campy, a little scary and a little funny all at the same time. This show is a little scary and a lot of funny. It’s poking fun lovingly at the genre.”
I also had a chance to sit down with cast-members Matthew Graham and Erik Gow to talk about the show. You can check that out right here:
The show itself? It was perfect. Honestly. Having attended the show’s preview night, it was easily one of the most entertaining experiences that I’ve had with live theatre. The production value, as the director had noted earlier, is top notch. The musical is energetic and catchy. The whole cast hits every note, both musically and comedically, with style. The script is full of delicious send-ups and in-jokes to the genre and then some. I honestly have no criticisms for this production. It’s just that well executed. Seriously: Perfect.
(Okay, if I was going to nitpick, on occasion the music sometimes overpowered the vocals, but I will write that off simply to opening night glitches. I’m sure that was fixed by the next night.)
My biggest worry going in was that Ash was going to be played as a caricature of Bruce Campbell. I’m certain there are some productions where that is the case, but I was very happy to find quite the opposite here. Star Scott Walter bring a completely fresh take on the character (while still honoring its source) which I can only describe as Cabin In The Woods‘ Fran Kranz blended with a healthy dose of William Shatner, and it’s hilarious to watch!
Evil Dead: The Musical is big, bold, over the top and definitely not to be missed!
DSR Productions’ presentation of Evil Dead: The Musical runs until November 1st, 2014. For information and tickets visit: www.evildeadmusicalvancouver.ca
Photos: Mark Carter
Poster Design: Barret Chapman.