Led by Mike Bliss (Ash), Darby McLaughlin (Linda), Rance Denton (Scotty) and Jessica Simonson (Annie), the cast at Milburn Stone handles the musical in impressive fashion. They pull no punches on the ridiculous scale and fully embrace satirizing not only the original 1981 movie “The Evil Dead,” but of the horror genre more generally.
Added to this worthy bunch is the talented musical corps of J. Andrew Dickenson (guitar), June Suh (piano), Chris Deboda (drums) and Anthony Derrico (bass). They lend crucial energy and ambience to the production.
Bob Denton, Milburn Stone’s technical director and unofficial horror aficionado, directs “Evil Dead,” and he spoke after a runthrough on Wednesday night about how much he’s enjoyed preparing for the production.
There were still kinks to work
out — mostly little things with the lighting and new sound system; and because Bliss slipped on the fake blood-covered stage toward the end of the rehearsal, Denton wanted to lay some carpet there — but he was all smiles nonetheless.
“I can’t even express how fun it is, just that the cast is great and willing to do anything,” Denton said. “I love the people I work with, I love what I do.”
When audience members arrive to the lobby of the theater tonight, they’ll be offered the chance to
purchase ponchos. That’s because the first three aisles make up a designated splash zone, where the likelihood of being sprayed by blood (“light pink water,” Denton said) runs from high to very high.
Denton figured the target audience would be in their early 20s, but noted that anyone with a penchant for horror would enjoy it. Because of Halloween, this is Denton’s favorite time of year, and it brings to mind when he would sneak into his parent’s basement to watch horror flicks as a kid.
The people who bought front row tickets did so willingly, he said. They likely have similar tastes to him, and maybe have become fans of the recent TV show “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”
“These are like people who would go see GWAR,” Denton said, referencing the American costumed, hardcore band.
“Evil Dead” will run Oct. 7, 8, 15, 22 and 28. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Tickets can be bought at milburnstone.com or at the door — $18 for adults and $15 for students or seniors.