A&E

Evil Dead: The Musical’ hits the Onyx … hard

Look who’s blood-soaked now!

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The Onyx brings to stage the cheeky, self-parodying adaptation of the Evil Dead cult films.
Photo: Bill Hughes
Molly O'Donnell

The Details

Evil Dead:The Musical
four stars
October 20-22, 9 p.m.
Through October 31; Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.; Halloween, 8 p.m., $15-$30
Onyx Theatre, 732-7225, onyxtheatre.com

There’s a guy in zombie makeup dropping the F-bomb on a full house every 30 seconds, but the audience seems to be frothing at the mouth for more. Is it surprising that the loudest are the same people who paid extra to sit in the “splash zone” at the Onyx Theatre’s production of Evil Dead: the Musical? The screaming zombie turns out to be director Sirc Michaels, who explains: “You paid extra to get the T-shirt, so wear it to every production and try to get as bloody as possible.” It promised to be a night filled with audience participation and discomfiture, and it delivered.

The musical itself is a cheeky, self-parodying adaptation of the Evil Dead cult films. You know, a cabin in the woods, a scary old book, a hero battling his own hand with a chainsaw-hand and a “boomstick”—a timeless tale by now. The real pressure for the cast comes in balancing audience interaction (squirting blood on people and making them dance with the zombies flanking them) with singing, dancing and over-the-top acting.

Good thing for this crowd, the team pulled it off pretty seamlessly. Ben Stobber stole the show as lead Ash. At first, it was difficult to picture the slight Stobber as the muscle-bound Ash we know and love, but the minute he got doused in blood and donned a ripped shirt, the resemblance was uncanny, no doubt attributable to solid acting and directing. The rest of the cast was charming, especially the hilarious Nicole Unger, who plays the interrupting Annie.

The crowd’s enthusiastic reaction mirrored the production’s execution. So go get yourself a seat in the splash zone and start your Halloween season off right.

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