The teenagers in the cabin in the woods have something they want to say to you: Join us.
“Don't you wanna join the crew? You'll be dead and evil, too. The coolest thing to do is . . . join us.”
Las Positas College Theater Arts’ spirited production of "Evil Dead The Musical" opens on Friday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m., followed by six more performances over two weekends.
Based on the campy Evil Dead films of the 1980s, the stage production mixes together the series’ characters and concepts to create a show that makes outrageous use of comedic violence, coarse language and catchy tunes.
“There is something hilarious about making musicals out of topics or popular culture that are inherently totally inappropriate for a musical. The cult following these films have garnered over the years makes this musical particularly funny because its source material is so absurd,” Director Titian Lish said. “I love the idea that musical theater can be beautiful, can move the needle of culture, and can evoke thoughtful and complex ideas in our audiences. But I also love ridiculously fun nights of theater, where audiences can turn off the troubles of the day and have a genuinely fun time with their friends at the theater. It's not all high art. Low comedy is delightful, too."
Rated R, the show’s tagline is “Not Your Grandma’s Musical” for good reason. Five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods, and accidentally unleash an evil force that turns them all into maniacal demons. It’s all up to Ash, a housewares employee turned demon-killing hero, and his trusty chainsaw to save the day. Demons tell bad jokes. Limbs are dismembered. Blood flies. And boy, does it fly. In fact, “Evil Dead The Musical” features that rarest of theatrical seating arrangements: a Splatter Zone — a section in the audience that will likely get splattered in blood (a washable combination of household cooking ingredients).
"I've never had to do a show while being sprayed or covered in fake blood, so that's new,” actor Kody Forbes said. "Evil Dead is a crazy comedy that will make you laugh, and you might get a little wet."
It’s all part of the fun. “Evil Dead The Musical” was written by a group of young Canadians (not to be confused with Candarian demons) and opened in 2003 in the back room of a Toronto bar. Three years later, the show opened off-Broadway to praise from fans and critics alike, with its album debuting at #4 on the Billboard Show Charts.
Making up the brilliant cast: Jared Sigman, Saige Aronson, Celia Reddoch, Elias Baravskas, Jenna Van Ommeron, Samantha Hixon, Kody Forbes, Erynn Pascual, Jeff Zavattero Jr., Matthew Bessiere, Jonathan Weiss, Caitlin Acha, Logan Schultz, Jacob Fisher, Katherine Mathers, Alex Radzanowski, Colin Fitzmaurice, Hannah Manucal, and Katie Holmes.
For the charismatic Sigman, who plays essential ‘80s preppie/bad boy Ash, rehearsal has been "the most demanding, but without a doubt the most fun, I've had. I have learned so much, and the entire cast is phenomenal and pushes me to be better every night."
Following its Friday night opening, performances of “Evil Dead The Musical” take place on: Nov. 9, 15 and 16, at 8 p.m.; and Nov. 10 and 17, at 6 p.m. (A Nov. 10 matinee has already sold out.) Open-seating tickets are $10 for students, $15 for seniors and military members, and $20 for general admission. The black box theater is located in the Barbara F. Mertes Center for the Arts building on campus, 3000 Campus Hill Dr., Livermore.
Adds Lish, "There is no question that this is a comedy, and I hope audiences will have as much fun seeing the performance as we have had rehearsing it. Though the show has an R rating, audiences should know that this night of theater is fun, playful and unlike any other performance.”