There will be blood in Evil Dead: The Musical | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

There will be blood in Evil Dead: The Musical 

Especially if you sit in the splatter zone.

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Evan Hanover

Attention S-Mart shoppers! Grab your Boomstick and journey to a cabin in the woods with a group of college kids who are in for a hell of a time in this enjoyable musical comedy homage.

Few film franchises have spawned such a rabid cult following as Sam Raimi's eminently quotable classic B-movie horror film Evil Dead and its subsequent sequels. Black Button Eyes' production has everything an uberfan could expect, including inside jokes, over-the-top gore, campy dialogue taken straight from the films, 1980s political incorrectness, and a well-defined splatter zone. There will be blood. Lots of it. The special effects are nothing short of beautiful.

Jordan Dell Harris, a star in the making, perfectly re-creates Bruce Campbell's iconic performance as Ash with myriad facial expressions, wonderfully dynamic physicality, and wry catchphrases. Caitlin Jackson is a pleasure to watch as Cheryl; she spends most of the performance possessed, eyes glowing, dropping bad puns onto the stage like body parts. Shane Roberie plays good old reliable Jake, whose hilarious solo is a highlight.

The script by George Reinblatt balances catchy musical numbers with hysterical dialogue, well supported by Oliver Townsend's musical direction. The excellent cast makes use of every inch of the intimate stage, in no small part thanks to Derek Van Barham's tight choreography, which adds whimsy and enhances the cheesy nature of the show. The actors are clearly having a great time and, much like the Kandarian Demons in the story, their joy possesses the audience.   v

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