Ghoulish, gory and gut-spilling with dark-humour fun, Evil Dead The Musical, is so very apropos to the season.
It’s a gleeful romp in the macabre, as five unsuspecting college students fall, blunder and clash through an evening of horror as they unleash an evil force that turns them all into demons, much akin to those in Evil Dead, the cinematic cult smash hit.
“It’s the badass of all zombie flicks,” noted Randy Leslie, director, who along with Dawn Ewen, choreographer and Spencer Bach, musical director, hope to make the audience gleefully squeamish all night long.
Making ultimate use of a very simple set — “it’s just a simple cabin in the woods,” — the Kelowna Actors Studio plans to bring the dead to life.
“There’s a lot of slapstick comedy, lots of gore and lots of fake blood flying, as well as chainsaws,” Leslie added.
His choice of top-notch Kelowna actors for the creepy showing include Chad Abrahamson, Jerome Laroche, Julia Chambers, Joanna Ryan, Deslyn Bach, Josh Richardson, Mark Sorestad and Janice Sorestad.
“I’ve got the cream of the crop of our local performers in this play, because of COVID, they’re available because they’re not back in school or at work,” Leslie added.
“This is touted as the next Rocky Horror, and it stands on its own as good, clean, dirty, bloody fun,” he said.
The plot follows the soon-to-be demonic students into the woods, for a night they anticipate will be filled with fun, and maybe someone getting to “hook-up.”
Taking up one of the roles of “stereotypical college kid,” Laroche starts the evening off being “an ass-holy best friend, looking for horny-teen action and ends up murdering his girlfriend,” Laroche said.
“But first, I try to leave the cabin, try to save everyone, until the trees kill me,” he laughed.
“It’s one of my favourite death scenes, covered in blood, rolling around — oh, and there’s the dance scene where my guts fall out on stage.”
Die-hard aficionados of the flicks will be entertained by the drop-here and drop-there one-liners from the hit TV series, as well as the score of rock ‘n roll songs, pastiche tunes and boogie music.
“I’ve known about this show for 13 years,” Abrahamson said. “I saw it in Winnipeg, and it’s out-there comedy in a classic cult pus-oozing way,” he added. “Think B-horror film remade into a horror/comedy. Scary, spooky, stupid three-stooges type stuff with wacky things like lots of exploding blood.”
The evening of horrorific fun starts with the friends crossing into the woods over one shaky bridge, which oddly enough is the only way in or out. Then they find the Book of the Dead. That, along with a recorded message opens “a rift” and the action is set into motion.
“The set itself is simple but beautiful. It all moves around, and then there’s the ‘Thriller’ cut, and fight scenes and outlandish fun with ‘bad’ words.”
The musical fits perfectly with the season, being Halloween-ish and also will be a unique experience for the pared down audience, with just 50 seats allowed, drastically reduced from the full capacity of “normal times.”
“That in itself makes the performance quite different,” he added. “You can gauge the reaction of the audience when there are 200 people watching. Now, we have 50 people reacting to our performance on stage, which makes it very personal. It’s a privilege to do this.”
Due the content of the play, it is recommended for those ages 19 and over.
And as it is a Halloween-ish performance, the show opens Oct. 21 and runs to Nov. 7. Due to popular demand, there has been an additional performance added for Nov. 8, also at 7:30 p.m.
Guts and gore guaranteed at all showings.
What: Evil Dead, the Musical presented by Kelowna Actors Studio.
When: Oct. 21-Nov 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Actors Studio, 1379 Ellis St.
Tickets: Limited seating,
available at 250-862-2867 or kelownatickets.com/online/article/EvilDead2020