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Candi's Corner Review - Evil Dead: The Musical

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

 There Will Be Some Blood….Evil Dead: The Musical 

by Tinsel & Tine Blog Contributor Candace Cordelia

On the fifth day since its opening, a healthy dose of people came out to see Evil Dead: The Musical, on a Sunday, which did not surprise me as Philly is a city filled with zealous horror lovers such as me, and from the looks of the crowd, I was surrounded by avid Evil Dead fans as well. I didn’t know what to expect with this musical, except a lot of singing, dancing, and blood. I was right! Well, except for the lots of blood part.

 I should have known better than to think that this musical would resemble, in any way, Fede Alvarez’s recent Evil Dead movie, who I had the pleasure of interviewing (I’m still buzzing from that day!) The musical version starts off with a bunch of college kids riding around in a car going to a cabin in the woods, and for a moment, I thought that I was watching an episode of Barney and Friends. “I did not sign up for this”, I thought as cardboard cutouts of woodland animals propelled me into this new, jovial world. When they arrive at the cabin, the backdrop gets a bit more eerie. Guess I just wanted to see the horror right away, but the moments of song and dance threw me off. This show is much more camp than I realized it would be, and the blood doesn’t come until the second half, after intermission. Oh yes, the SPLATTER ZONE! The splatter zone is a section of about the first five rows in the theater. Every seat in these rows are outfitted with a plastic sheet that you can put on or over your head to shield you from all the fake blood that you’ll surely be doused in. The folks in the splatter zone looked excited to be covered in corn syrup and food coloring, and covered they were. But after all the hype, there wasn’t as much blood as I thought there would be. I guess the Prince Music Theater was not having it!

 My friend who came with me made an astute observation. She said that the humor was very “Adam Sandler-ish”, which is not her cup of tea. I concur. The level of humor was not forced, but very much “I’ve heard this all before”. Although, the cast of Evil Dead: The Musical is made up of an accomplished, exultant Canadian bunch. Their performances were top notch! In particular, Ash, Annie, and Jake were my personal favorites. Ash was perfectly cast with actor Ryan Ward, who is a graduate of Ryerson University, one of the top institutions of higher education in Canada. The audience seemed to agree with me, as he received a “Splatter Zone” standing ovation and the most cheers by the end of the show.

 Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll gained the most audience laughs as “Scott”, but his humor was laden in misogyny and in the first act I was bored with his quips and could not have cared less if he died (which you knew he would because he was misogynistic, and they are always the first to go!). Actor Daniel Williston aka “Jake” really gives in to the campy humor, yet his performance remains spontaneous and sincere. Alison Smyth’s “Cheryl” is also deserving of praise. While some of her jests veered towards corny, Smyth was consistent throughout the play, never losing her energy - appearing to both disappear and relish in her role, as a professional actress should. I only wish that Linda, played by Margaret Thompson was able to be someone other than “the girlfriend”. Actress Laura Tremblay was given the gift of playing both “Annie” and “Shelly”, which I loved. Shelly was the typical blonde airhead, a played-out stereotype of horror movies. Seeing Tremblay come alive into another character, Annie, was a treat! Both Tremblay and Thompson prove to be lovely artists, but I wanted to see more from Thompson. But, alas, she gave her all with the role that she was cast in and rocks a solid singing duet with Ash.

While the first act trundles on in more backstory, the second act really picks up. Jake, Annie, and Ed, who we see within the end scenes of Act I, infuse life within the story. I actually wish that there would be a spinoff musical about Annie, Annie’s father, and Ed, who happens to be Annie’s boyfriend. The running joke of Ed being a bit-part player in his own life was both hilarious and depicted very nicely in direction, lighting, and acting by performer Kenton Blythe. If there was a separate musical just about Ed and how he ultimately meets Annie, sign me up for that!

As I left the Prince Music Theater, happy not to have been splattered in imitation blood, but wishing there had been more - this is coming from someone who still feels more horror movies should take note from Hitchcock and Polanski and step away from the guts and gore. But, in a live experience such as Evil Dead:The Musical, I say that the more carnage, the better. As it's being played for fun, why not have more audience interaction, which to me means MORE BLOOD!

So, if you’re looking for tons of slaughter and violence, as seen Fede Alvarez’s film, you will be disappointed. But if you’re down for campy comedy and seeing Ash sing and get into a fight with his hand - head on down to 1412 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia for a good time!

Evil Dead:The Musical runs until October 20, 2013

Other Candi's Corner posts -
Candi's Corner: The Spectacular Now
Candi's Corner - Ahhhhhh! Zombies!!! Surviving World War Z
Candi's Corner: Interview with Director Fede Alvarez
Be sure to visit Candace Cordelia's Blog - A Confederation of Travelers  - A black hole of entertainment, fashion, arts, culture, & current event news

#writers #moviebuffs #filmlovers #bloggers - I couldn't go this week to see Captain Phillips  with Tom Hanks and none of my 3 blog contributors were available either. Tinsel & Tine really needs another person who lives in Philly preferably in Center City or can easily get to the city to be a blog contributor. You have to just love movies and writing, because it's NOT a paid gig. However, you do get to see Preview Screenings for FREE! Interested applicants can contact me: Thanks!

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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