Preview: Evil Dead: The Musical at Riffe Center
If a character in a musical sings, "I'm going to bitch-slap evil with my one good hand," it's safe to make a few assumptions. First, the play is laugh-so-hard-your-eyes-water funny. Second, the musical contains some gory fight scenes. And finally, that character's other arm has a nub with a chainsaw attached.
Indeed, "Evil Dead: The Musical" encompasses what fans grew to love in the series of '80s and early '90s horror flicks campy humor and bloody battles to the death with zombie-like Candarian demons. The only thing missing is Bruce Campbell himself.
In the play, which CATCO is putting on this month in the Riffe Center's Studio Two Theatre, five college students head to a cabin in the woods to party. They find a mysterious tape, and by playing it they unleash evil that possesses them one by one. Along the way, there's an abundance of one-liners and unexpected songs.
"The songs are absolutely hilarious," said Joe Bishara, who plays the hero, Ash. "How often can you say, 'I'm singing a song called "What the F--- Was That?" or "Blew that B---- Away?"'"
There will be plenty of spurting blood in the play - coming out of walls, the floor, the chainsaw and the actors' costumes. Members of the audience will be sitting on three sides of the stage, and about a third of those seats will be in the "splatter zone," according to the show's director, Steven Anderson. Those who don't want red stuff on them can request safe seats.
There isn't much risk in sitting in the splatter zone, though. That fake blood should come out in the wash, and get this: It's chocolate-based.
"The blood actually tastes good," Anderson said. "I imagine people getting splattered and going, 'Eww,' and then, 'Mmm!'"
For people who aren't satisfied with the action in the splatter zone, CATCO is hosting an online video contest that lets community members apply for one-night-only walk-on roles as demons.
"At the beginning of the show, I introduce the guest zombie," Anderson explained, "and they can stand up and get their applause, watch the first act, then go back stage and get zombie-ized."
Photo credit: Dave Alkire
Riffe Center's Studio Two Theatre
June 1-June 19
77 S. High St., Downtown