Tacoma Little Theatre’s Evil Dead: The Musical is an R-Rated (language and sexual content), loud, brash, blood-splattering, silly-ass, stupid, scene stealing fiasco that will make you laugh in spite of yourself. Try to keep your head and your hands to yourself, the characters can’t. Recommended for Ages 16+
The play is a send-up, send-out, or send-off of 1980’s horror flicks. There are demons, “living trees”, a talking moose, and incantations amid shot gun blasts. It’s not so much “The Walking Dead” as it is the “The Talking Dead.”
The plot involves five college age adults heading out to a cabin in the woods . . . over the river and down the path.
Once in the cabin they start having fun, mostly. They awake mystical forces. My guess is that it’s the rock and roll amps or perhaps the dancing that wakes them. There are bit characters and helpful people . . . all soon to be transformed.
I like the pairing of Ash (played by Zachary Edson) and his buddy Scott (played by Guy Taylor Simpson III). Guy is an actor head and shoulders about his fellow cast members. He towers over most of them by about a foot. He moves nicely, however. He’s an ex-coach of youth basketball.
I loved Jake played by Eric Strachan. He’s a good ole’ boy with his own solo:
“Who’s every senior citizen’s favorite mime
And who can pass Courvoisier like Busta Rhymes
Who was the inspiration for the Shamrock Shake
It’s good old reliable Jake”
Once in the cabin Jake meets the demon Cheryl (played by Molly Ellenbecker) who is locked under the house, but visits via a chained trap door. Once in the clutches of Cheryl, Jake’s brandy sniffing days are over.
Near the end of the second act we only have Ash and cabin owner Annie (played by Annelise Martin) left as non-demons. At the end everything is celebrated at S-Mart, where Ash works.
One of the really interesting tidbits about the production is the Splatter Zone. This is a ticket option. Next to the stage, on either side of the audience are two rows of seats. You can either sit down dressed as you are, or TLT will provide thin plastic hoodies to cover your head and upper torso. People in the splatter seats are doused with a fine mist of fake blood with each killing. It was fun figuring out where the mist was coming from and how it was sprayed onto the people. And, spray it does. We saw wet bottoms on some patrons from the Splatter Zone. They were having fun, however.
Evil Dead: The Musical is directed by Niclas Olson, musically directed by Benjamin Bentler, and choreographed by Ashley Roy, who plays Linda in the production. Roy has acted and danced throughout the South Sound.
My recommendation to Tacoma Little Theatre: distribute lyrics for the songs. It might become a sing-a-long.
Evil Dead: The Musical is a romp and a half. Enjoy. The show runs through Sunday, November 10, 2019. Friday and Saturday showings are at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. There will be a special performance on Halloween Night, October 31st, at 7:30pm. Evil Dead: The Musical is recommended for ages 16 and up.
Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (253) 272-2281 or by visiting online – tacomalittletheatre.com