Evil Dead shines in unexpected ways

Originally posted to EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL site 9/24/13 – You’ll be seeing a lot of these archival posts from my days with EVIL DEAD to make sure they don’t get lost in case the original site goes down. Plus it is a bit of fun to stroll down memory lane…

Originally Posted February 27, 2013
By MARK LOPROTO – EXAMINER

What do you get when you mix a love story, camp horror, sheer ridiculousness, and gallons of blood? You get one of the hottest shows on the Las Vegas Strip. With world renown shows like “Cirque du Soleil” headlining on the main stages of numerous Sin City hotels, it’s actually quite surprising that a show titled “Evil Dead the Musical 4D” would even register on the tourism radar, but it does; and with plenty of reason. Las Vegas’ production of “Evil Dead: The Musical” is a fresh installment on a craze that continues to slowly sweep across the nation.

“Evil Dead: The Musical 4D” encompasses the entirety of the film “trilogy”. Mixing (and eliminating) characters, scenes, and elements from “Evil Dead”, “Evil Dead 2”, and “Army of Darkness” allows the musical to effectively tell the story of five ignorant teenagers and the growth of a simple S-Mart employee.

Currently housed at the V-Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, the Sirc Michael’s (aka Chris Palkow) directed and produced show is headlined by a cast that all too well fits into their respective horror stereotypes – and this show is (purposefully) filled with them. While it’s unfair to single one individual out from such a loveable and memorable cast, Ben Stobber somehow winds up stealing the show as the headline character, Ash. Taking cues from the character’s roots, as originally portrayed by Bruce Campbell, Stobber channels all the right notes by successfully portraying Ash’s transformation from near insufferable dork to the chainsaw wielding hero.

A cast can only be as good as the writing, and “Evil Dead” surprises with clever anecdotes of typical horror scenarios, smart dialogue, and recognizable catch phrases that the audience finds impossible to not say in unison. The musical score is filled with songs that embed themselves in your brain, such as the tango inspired “What the F**k Was That” and the show’s staple love song, “Housewares Employee”. Each performer has the ability to carry a tune well, which simply helps amplify the clever and catchy nature of the performance’s 15 songs.

No matter how good the rest of the show is, nothing about it can compare to the experience of sitting in the “Splatter Zone”. Acting as a pseudo-VIP section, the Splatter Zone seats guests in a make-shift arrangement of seating at the very front of the theater. The floor is coated in a plastic tarp, which is the second indication that things are bound to get messy; the first being the crisp white T-shirt you receive before the start of the show. The Splatter Zone is what earns this iteration of “Evil Dead: The Musical” it’s “4D” tag as it immerses the audience in the show in a way that only the most deranged of minds could think of. In sync with on-stage deaths or dismemberments, the Splatter Zone audience members will be on the receiving end of a fountain of “blood” that sprays from all angles of the theater – including on stage. The Splatter Zone allows the audience the chance to be in the moment during scenes like Ash’s infamous self-amputation or when Scotty decides its time to completely empty his “bladder”. It’s certainly the best way to experience “Evil Dead: The Musical”, but luckily the rest of the performance is enough to entertain those not brave enough to endure hot (and somewhat sweet) blood.

“Evil Dead: The Musical” embodies true camp horror through its clever selection of cast, location, and implementation of the much-talked about Splatter Zone. This musical is an ode to horror without taking itself seriously in any way, shape or form. It’s an enjoyable experience that is almost impossible not to get addicted to, which, in the long run, isn’t a problem thanks to comparably affordable ticket prices.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, “Evil Dead: The Musical 4D” should be on your must-see list.

Hey guys! Chris Palkow aka Sirc Michaels here. I wanted to reiterate that this is NOT my original story, but it IS something I give a crap about! I hope you find it informative and interesting! Leave your comments and share!

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