It's called Evil Dead The Musical, for God's sake. How classy can it be? Zip, zero, nada on The Great Theatre Scale. And that's being generous. But on the Broadly Funny, Well-Produced, Enjoy The Hell Out Of The Evening Scale, Promethean's latest show shoots (and bleeds) right over the top.
Promethean's press release trumpeted: THIS PRODUCTION CONTAINS BLOOD, PROFANITY, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, GUNSHOTS AND DANCING ZOMBIES. Which ain't the half of it. What about the gags, songs, humanoid trees and a talking moose? Not to mention the singing fish, beaver, ducks and a chainsaw. But don't let me give away the plot. Oh, hell, why not? Five teenagers in a cabin in the woods. With demons. Squirting blood. That's it.
The seventeen songs include the tastefully titled “Ode To An Accidental Stabbing,” “Blew That Bitch Away” and “What The F&%K Was That?” And of course you want to see the demons dancing “Do The Necronomicon.”
Some are really talented in the cast, some not so much so and this makes it hard at times to get all the lyrics. But there's no lack of enthusiasm and that's what makes this show pop. Matthew William Chizever with his engaging stage presence is the excellent big boy hero, and right up there with him are Troy Davidson, Lindsey Forgey, Noah Levine, and David Dearstyne. Also featured are Kaitlyn O'Neill, Jamie Mattocks and Jamie Kautzmann. And all of these actors perform backstage duties that can be seen on stage.
Note well the skillful people who put this thing together. Led by producer Deborah L. Sherman and director Margaret M. Ledford, this group of twenty, that's right, twenty, have put up a show that's pretty much a marvel of fun. And here they are: George Reinblatt (book and lyrics/music), Frank Cipolla (composer), Jane Duncan (dramaturg), Joseph M. Nesmith (stage manager), Phil Hinton (musical director),William J. Adams (vocal director), Chrissi Ardito (choreographer), Taso Stavrakis (fights and blood fx), Dan Gelbmann (scenic design), Ed Fitzpatrick (technical director), Patrick Tennent (lighting), Ellis Tillman (costumes), Matt Corey (sound), Neidra Ward (makeup), Tyler Smith (prosthetic props), Alexander Gonzalez (asst. to director), Erick Lopez (sound board) and Aran S. Graham (crew chief). Whew.
If you pay five bucks extra you can sit in the front two rows and get really close to the action. And get soaked with flying blood, but don't worry because, as Deborah Sherman said opening night, “It washes right out...or maybe it doesn't.” Smirk.
Ponchos are provided.
See Evil Dead The Musical at Promethean Theatre in the Black Box Theatre at Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Davie. Call 866.811.4111 or visit www.theprometheantheatre.org.
Photos by Roger Martin.