If you have not made any plans for Halloween yet, Last Chance Productions is taking Evil Dead: The Musical across the Pacific Northwest before, during and after Halloween 2016! This year, they are adding Victoria, BC to the list of where to hit and the timing could not be any better. Since I have seen three versions by different troupes, I must say this particular group are dedicated film buffs who have an absolute love for the cinematic genre.
And, of course, they promise to lay the blood thick in the splatter zone! When I saw the Arts West production, I did not realize you have to sit very close to the kitchen set to get sloshed the most. Depending on whether the show can be held outdoors or indoors, hidden sprinklers can be used to really get people soaked! Tip: wear a white shirt if you intend to be hit with the stage effects. Afterwards, those leaving the theatre can proudly show off their badge of honour with wicked glee.
Returning to Vancouver, BC this Halloween is Evil Dead the Musical, and hot on their tail is The Toxic Avenger the Musical. Both shows, if it was back to back, would have been duking it out at the Waterfront Theatre instead of Studio 1338! A change in plan will have Toxie appear next year and with a bigger venue, the team of Last Chance Productions promises more fun to pop up. This crew performed Young Frankenstein and Cannibal! the Musical in the past. For the holidays, they are giving fans new content as they tour the Pacific Northwest during the holidays.
Fans of Troma who have not seen this production can see what’s changed. The plot of this stage version does not entirely follow the film. It takes the best moments from it and has fun with the tropes.
“The movie has its own cult following, and people should be aware that the musical changed things around,” revealed Chance Newman, director and producer. “There’s two performers who play 20 parts each, and it’s going to be manic.”
Ed Sum: Who doesn’t love the oh so misunderstood monster? Young Frankenstein, directed by Chance Newman (Evil Dead: The Musical – Northwest edition), is a classic film by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder; they playfully gave the original Mary Shelly tale a comedic spin that many audiences adored. And Brooks gave the story a great re-imagining that even works on the Broadway stage on a burlesque style level. Although the show began its run in 2007 and it received mixed reviews by bigger name critics, that did not deter James and I from traveling to Vancouver to see a version done by the performers of Last Chance Productions.
In what we saw was a toe tapping romance and I thought this musical was a tribute to the era when Gershwin was hugely popular. To see it played in a smaller venue, I thought people sitting in “Laboratory Row” (the first seven rows) can get intimate with the performers.