October 30, 2013

Evil Dead: The Musical Returns to Slay Toronto!

Yesterday was the opening night of Evil Dead: The Musical in Toronto, and the show was a bloody mess -- in the best possible way imaginable.

Ryan Ward and Laura Tremblay in Evil Dead - The Musical. Photo by David Hou
Gallons of fake blood were spilled on stage (and on the audience) to celebrate the triumphant return of Evil Dead: The Musical to Toronto. After 10 years, Evil Dead: The Musical remains as bawdy, bombastic, and bloody as ever. For Evil Dead fans, horror enthusiasts, and fans of outrageous musical theatre, Evil Dead: The Musical is bound to be the hot-ticket for the fall season. A must-see for any Evil Dead fan!

Cast of Evil Dead - The Musical. Photo by David Hou
Evil Dead: The Musical combines elements from Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness into a hilarious musical comedy about five college kids who unleash demonic forces while staying at a secluded cabin in the woods. Raimi's horror/comedy trilogy is transformed on stage into a musical farce that's intentionally campy yet incredibly respectful of the original movies. Astute Evil Dead fans will catch numerous references to the movies, even down to some cameos in the set design that only the most hardcore of Evil Dead fans will get. Don't think that Evil Dead: The Musical is just one big in-joke though. No sir, Evil Dead: The Musical plays to all crowds -- crowds that are into sex jokes, foul language, decapitations, demons, puns, chainsaw hands, shot gun murders, and getting drenched in stage blood, that is.  Evil Dead: The Musical may not be the show for you to take your grannie with heart problems; it's the kind of show you take your impressionable niece or nephew because you're the "cool" aunt or uncle in the family.
Ryan Ward as Ash. Photo by David Hou

Since its original Toronto run where it played to sold-out houses, Evil Dead: The Musical has since been staged by production teams in other cities such as Las Vegas and Philadelphia, but they just can't compare to the original Canadian show. Now, Evil Dead: The Musical. has finally come home to the city that gave it life. Original director Christopher Bond and original "Ash" Ryan Ward return to the stage to slay Toronto audiences with Evil Dead: The Musical's unique brand of scares, sensational songs, and gut-splitting sexual innuendo. Ryan Ward almost so perfectly embodies Bruce Campbell's Ash character that when he drops fan-favorite lines ("This is my boomstick") it's hard to resit the urge to jump to your feet and cheer. You know what, why resist? Grab a foam chainsaw hand from the gift shop and wave it loud and proud!

Daniel Williston as Jake in Evil Dead - The Musical. Photo by David Hou
I never saw the original run of Evil Dead: The Musical in Toronto. My first experience with the musical was the Sirc Michaels production in Las Vegas (you can read my review of that over here). As much as I appreciated the Vegas version's interactivity, I wasn't that impressed by the singing or the music in Vegas. I had no idea what I was missing. Compared to the Vegas production, Toronto's Evil Dead: The Musical is a revelation. It's a polished and professional performance with topnotch choreography, excited and incredibly talented actors, and blood effects that are generous and electrifying.

Cast of Evil Dead - The Musical. Photo by David Hou
If you're going to see Evil Dead: The Musical, I recommend that you sit in the "Splatter Zone" to get the full effect. That's where I sat last night with my friend. The first three rows of seats are the best and bloodiest seats in the house. Audience members here get drenched in fake blood during the final violent act, and I mean DRENCHED! It's an amazing interactive experience like no other and a right of passage for Evil Dead and horror fans the world over. Evil Dead: The Musical doesn't skimp on the red stuff, so come prepared for a blood bath that'll soak you to your skivvies (literally!). Here's my friend and I directly after the show as proof of the carnage.

Evil Dead: The Musical is back in a big, bad way. Unless you want to be labelled a Primitive Screwhead, better head over to evildeadthemusical.com and give'em some sugar, baby. Tickets are now on sale for shows October 31 through December 22nd. Gas up the chainsaw and grab your axe today because tickets are going to disappear faster than a group of teens in a cabin in the woods.