Thursday night two of my lovely lady friends and I saw “Evil Dead: The Musical” at the City Theatre Downtown Detroit, and I must say in a word it was awesome.
Not being as well versed in the “Evil Dead” canon as my friends, I just went in excited for camp, gore, and what was sure to be stellar performances by my homeboys Pete Podolski(Ash) and Dez Walker(Ed/Moose/Professor). From the moment I heard about the concept of the “Splatter Zone,” I was like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. For those uninitiated, the Splatter Zone is the area closest to the stage, in this theater’s case the first four rows reserved for those audience members who aspire to be covered in stage blood by the time the show is over. Obviously, those are the seats my friends and I were aiming for.
Having never been to the City Theatre, or really ever even noticed it being there, I was pleasantly surprised by how great of a space it is inside the Hockeytown Cafe. The staff was more than accommodating when my friends forgot to give the information for the comp tickets. All in all, great experience from the get-go at the theater.
The show took off as one would expect a horror film satire would, with college students in the woods and well-choreographed dance numbers. The cast was solid across the board playing perfectly satire in the B-Horror genre stereotypes. My personal favorite was David Schoen as Jake whose stellar comedic timing worked well with his caricature of a backwoods hillbilly. The performance of Pete Podolski as Ash was as honest and absurd as a young man dealing with a flock of Canderian demons should be and served as an excellent throughline with the consistent changing of characters and sanity by the other characters. Despite playing several parts both human and demon, the entire cast kept the show alive and engaging. And when Tara Tomscik is a demon at the end of the show, I could not stop laughing at her physicality. Watch for it, you will die. Of laughter.
Having spent years listening to soundtracks and attending musicals, I would say that this soundtrack and performance stacked up fairly well. Although the odd placement of the microphones was somewhat distracting to start, the sound in the space played very well along with the music as taken care of by Music Director Geff Phillips. Director Michelle LeRoy did an excellent job of casting and keeping the spirit of the genre alive. I would highly reccommend this show.
Why should you see this?
- To check out the rad space in the City Theatre
- If you’re musical lovers who are looking for a change up
- If you’re a big fan of horror, camp, and gore being done really well
- If you’ve ever looked at your wardrobe and thought that some outfits would be improved by a bit of splatter of stage blood(who hasn’t really?)
Evil Dead: The Musical will be playing at the City Theatre inside the Hockeytown Café through October 29, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8p.m. Tickets are $25.